Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) induced protein 6 is a major anti-inflammatory mediator released by activated mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Neonatal MSCs are considered more metabolically active than cells derived from adult tissues, and potentially less heterogeneous. We hypothesized that a TNF-α-activated neonatal MSC population [human umbilical cord perivascular cells (HUCPVCs)] would show an enhanced level of TSG-6 activation compared with adult bone marrow MSCs (BMMSCs). Thus, we stimulated HUCPVCs, and both human BMMSCs (hBMMSCs) and mouse BMMSCs (mBMMSCs) with 1, 10, 50, and 100 ng/mL of recombinant TNF-α over various exposure times. Supernatant, and total RNA, of the cells were collected for measurement of both TSG-6 RNA expression, and secreted TSG-6 protein. To compare gene levels, quantification was done by normalizing the expression levels of TSG-6 to the geometric mean of the three most stable reference genes, out of a cohort of 30 tested genes, using the Pfaffl method. We found that HUCPVCs exhibited both an enhanced and more rapid response to low dose (1 ng/mL) TNF-α exposure resulting in ∼11.5-fold increase in TSG-6 expression within the first 30 min. In contrast, hBMMSCs showed 2-fold increase by 1 h that increased to 9.5-fold with a higher (50 ng/mL) TNF-α exposure for the same time. mBMMSCs showed a two-fold increase after 24 h that was independent of TNF-α concentration. Thus, although TSG-6 expression level varied among donors, both hMSC populations exhibited enhanced TSG-6 upregulation, upon TNF-α stimulation, compared with mBMMSCs. In conclusion, HUCPVCs showed higher sensitivity, and a prompter response to TNF-α stimulation compared with hBMMSCs. Thus, neonatal MSCs may be a stronger candidate population than those derived from adult bone marrow to treat inflammatory diseases.