Jump to navigation. An adult stem cell is thought to be an undifferentiated cell, found among differentiated cells in a tissue or organ. The adult stem cell can renew itself and can differentiate to yield some or all of the major specialized cell types of the tissue or organ.
Stem cells are cells that can differentiate into other types of cells, and can also divide in self-renewal to produce more of the same type of stem cells. In mammalsthere are two broad types of stem cells: embryonic stem cellswhich are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts in early embryonic development, and adult stem cellswhich are found in various tissues of fully developed mammals. In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenishing adult tissues.
Every organ and tissue in the body contains a small number of what scientists call adult stem cells or progenitor cells. These cells have three characteristics in common:. Adult stem cells retain the ability to give rise to several but not all types of cells in the body.
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Adult stem cells are undifferentiated cells found throughout the body that divide to replenish dying cells and regenerate damaged tissues. Research into adult stem cells has been fueled by their abilities to divide or self-renew indefinitely and generate all the cell types of the organ from which they originate — potentially regenerating the entire organ from a few cells. Unlike embryonic stem cells, the use of adult stem cells in research and therapy is not controversial because the production of adult stem cells does not require the destruction of an embryo.
Adult stem cells are undifferentiated cellsfound throughout the body after development, that multiply by cell division to replenish dying cells and regenerate damaged tissues. Scientific interest in adult stem cells is centered on their ability to divide or self-renew indefinitely, and generate all the cell types of the organ from which they originate, potentially regenerating the entire organ from a few cells. They have mainly been studied in humans and model organisms such as mice and rats.
Normal adult cells have been reprogrammed to become stem cells inside live mice for the first time. As stem cells can be coaxed into developing into almost any kind of cell, being able to prompt this behaviour in the body could one day be used to repair ailing organs including the heart, liver, spinal cord and pancreas. The technique overcomes the difficulties inherent in making cells outside the body, grafting them into people, and then of potential rejection.
Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa DEBa rare genodermatosis, is characterized by the formation of intra-epidermal blistering and the development of chronic nonhealing skin wounds. Recently, attempts have been made to develop cell-based therapies for this currently intractable disorder. The molecular mechanisms that govern directional migration of the adult stem cells, allowing their efficient and controlled homing to the skin affected with DEB, are poorly understood. The key mechanism that regulates recruitment of leukocytes and progenitor stem cells to distal anatomical tissues affected with disease is chemotaxis, which depends on the signaling molecules, chemokines, and acts primarily as part of the host defense and repair mechanism.