What kind of cells can develop from pluripotent stem cells?
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.
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.
- Pluripotent, embryonic stem cells originate as inner mass cells within a blastocyst. These stem cells can become any tissue in the body, excluding a placenta. Only the morula's cells are totipotent, able to become all tissues and a placenta.
- The ability of totipotent stem cells to differentiate into any cell in an organism including embryonic tissue is an important distinguishing quality. A human totipotent stem cell can thus develop into any cell in the body, including placental cells.
- 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.
- 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.
- The patient receives high-dose chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, followed by the stem cell transplant. A donor's stem cells are then transfused into the patient's blood. The transplanted stem cells go from the patient's blood to his or her marrow.
- 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 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.
- Answer and Explanation: Adults have stem cells because they are needed to repair certain tissues in the body such as in the muscles, bone marrow, skin, teeth, heart, and liver, to name a few. Thus, they can develop into many different cell types and function to replace older and damaged tissues.
- The hollow blastocyst—which is where embryonic stem cells come from—contains a cluster of 20-30 cells called the inner cell mass. These are the cells that become embryonic stem cells in a lab dish. The process of extracting these cells destroys the embryo. Don't forget that the embryos were donated from IVF clinics.
- Cell therapies would use stem cells, or cells grown from stem cells, to replace or rejuvenate damaged tissue. Scientists also want to use stem cells to understand disease and find drugs that might treat it. Embryonic stem cells could be used to make more specialized tissues that have been lost to disease and injury.
Updated: 3rd October 2019