The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) describes the types of stem cells as the foundation cells of our body. Their job is to repair and replace damaged tissues and cells. Contrary to what you might have thought, there are two main types of stem cells categorized as adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. But there are many other categories of stem cells that do different things. These include cord-blood, amniotic, induced pluripotent, mesenchymal and nuclear-transfer stem cells. Find out what all of these different types of stem cells are and what they do to help your body heal!
One of the most fascinating things about all the types of stem cells is they have the ability to self-renew or replicate themselves. They can also differentiate (develop into more specialized cells). These two abilities have intrigued scientists for years. The potential for types of stem cells to treat and prevent various serious diseases and conditions is limitless.
Cord-blood stem cells get their name from their origin–they are found in umbilical cords. These types of stem cells are classified as multipotent. “Multipotent stem cells are cells that have the capacity to self-renew by dividing and to develop into multiple specialised cell types present in a specific tissue or organ. Most adult stem cells are multipotent stem cells,
Although cord-blood stem cells don’t offer as much as some of the other types of stem cells, cord-blood stem-cell transplants have become a viable alternative to bone-marrow transplants for treating blood disorders like leukemia, when a bone-marrow match is unavailable.
Amniotic stem cells were first isolated from amniotic fluid in 2007. In 2010, researchers converted amniotic fluid cells into pluripotent stem cells, which are similar to ES cells. Derived from the amniotic sac. The major difference between embryonic stem cells and amniotic is that unlike embryonic stem cells, amniotic cells are not pluripotent. They are “multipotent”; they can only differentiate into certain cell types. Creating stem cells from a patient’s own tissue eradicates problems with immune rejection and avoids the controversial use of embryos. But their inability to morph into as many tissue types as real embryonic cells remains a limitation.
In 2006, researchers at Kyoto University in Japan established conditions that resulted in specialized adult cells that could be genetically “reprogrammed” to assume a stem cell-like state. These adult cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), were successfully reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state. This was achieved by introducing genes important for maintaining the essential properties of embryonic stem cells (ESCs).
Since then, scientists have greatly improved the techniques to engineer iPSCs, creating a powerful new way to “de-differentiate” cells. iPSCs give scientists an alternative, pluripotent cell to human embryonic which could help with some of the ethical concerns surrounding ESCs.
Mesenchymal stem cells or MSC are cells isolated from stroma–the connective tissue that surrounds other tissues and organs. Called “stromal cells” by many scientists, the first MSCs were discovered in the bone marrow and were shown to be capable of making bone, cartilage and fat cells, the ISSCR reported.
Scientists have come a long way with MSCs since their discovery. They have successfully grown MSCs from fat and cord blood tissues and believe that MSCs retain useful properties for treating a variety of diseases and conditions.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), is a procedure where the nucleus of a somatic cell is moved to the cytoplasm of an egg that has had its nucleus removed.
Once the somatic nucleus is inside the egg, it can be reprogrammed with egg cytoplasmic factors to transform into a fertilized egg nucleus.
“The egg is allowed to develop to the blastocyst stage, at which point a culture of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) can be created from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst,” research in Britannica reported. “Mouse, monkey, and human ESCs have been made using SCNT; human ESCs have potential applications in both medicine and research.”
Ideal candidates for stem cell therapy include those that are suffering from pain or dysfunction due to injury or age-related joint issues. If you are you worried that surgery, a lifelong dependency on pain medications, or a departure from your prior functionality are your only options, stem cell therapy may be for you.
Find out if you are a candidate for this revolutionary treatment by scheduling a free consultation with a stem cell therapist near you! If you have questions, or would like to know more about regenerative stem cell therapy, please call us at (877) 808-0016 or click contact us.