Do adults have pluripotent stem cells?
Pluripotent stem cells, i.e. cells that can give rise to any fetal or adult cell type, can be found in a number of tissues, including umbilical cord blood. Using genetic reprogramming, pluripotent stem cells equivalent to embryonic stem cells have been derived from human adult skin tissue.
Embryonic stem cells. These stem cells come from embryos that are three to five days old. At this stage, an embryo is called a blastocyst and has about 150 cells. These are pluripotent (ploo-RIP-uh-tunt) stem cells, meaning they can divide into more stem cells or can become any type of cell in the body.
- This ability to become any type of cell in the body is called pluripotent. The difference between totipotent and pluripotent cells is only that totipotent cells can give rise to both the placenta and the embryo. 4. As the embryo grows these pluripotent cells develop into specialized, multipotent stem cells.
- Adult stem cells can be isolated from the body in different ways, depending on the tissue. Blood stem cells, for example, can be taken from a donor's bone marrow, from blood in the umbilical cord when a baby is born, or from a person's circulating blood.
- A unipotent stem cell refers to a cell that can differentiate along only one lineage. The word 'uni' itself is derived from the Latin word 'unus,' meaning one. Found in adult tissues, a unipotent stem cell, in comparison with other types of stem cells, has the lowest differentiation potential.
Adult or somatic stem cells exist throughout the body after embryonic development and are found inside of different types of tissue. These stem cells have been found in tissues such as the brain, bone marrow, blood, blood vessels, skeletal muscles, skin, and the liver.
- It is transplanted routinely to treat a variety of blood and bone marrow diseases, blood cancers, and immune disorders. More recently, stem cells from the blood stream (called peripheral blood stem cells) and umbilical cord stem cells have been used to treat some of the same blood-based diseases.
- An induced pluripotent stem cell, or iPS cell, is a cell taken from any tissue (usually skin or blood) from a child or adult and is genetically modified to behave like an embryonic stem cell. As the name implies, these cells are pluripotent, which means that they have the ability to form all adult cell types.
- Umbilical cord blood collected at birth is a rich source of stem cells that can be used in research and in the clinic to treat diseases of the blood and immune system. With the consent of the parents, blood can be collected from the umbilical cord of a newborn baby shortly after birth.
Pluripotent cells can give rise to all of the cell types that make up the body; embryonic stem cells are considered pluripotent. Multipotent cells can develop into more than one cell type, but are more limited than pluripotent cells; adult stem cells and cord blood stem cells are considered multipotent.
- A progenitor cell is a biological cell that, like a stem cell, has a tendency to differentiate into a specific type of cell, but is already more specific than a stem cell and is pushed to differentiate into its "target" cell.
- An immature cell that can develop into all types of blood cells, including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Hematopoietic stem cells are found in the peripheral blood and the bone marrow. Also called blood stem cell.
- Adult stem cells have been identified in many organs and tissues, including brain, bone marrow, peripheral blood, blood vessels, skeletal muscle, skin, teeth, heart, gut, liver, ovarian epithelium, and testis. They are thought to reside in a specific area of each tissue (called a "stem cell niche").
Updated: 3rd October 2019