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Ann Hematol. 2003 Oct;82(10):599-604. Epub 2003 Jul 24.

Bone marrow-derived stem cells and "plasticity".

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  • 1Klinik für Hämatologie, Zentrum für Innere Medizin, Universitätsklinikum Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45147 Essen, Germany. andreas.huettmann@uni-essen.de


Studies describing plasticity of somatic stem cells have become a focus of interest because clinical applications in the treatment of degenerative diseases would be at hand. In particular, bone marrow-derived cells and their potential to contribute to skeletal and cardiac muscle, liver, neurons and epithelium have recently been studied extensively. Nevertheless, results of these studies have not always been consistent with each other, and yet it remains to be resolved whether plasticity of adult stem cells truly exists. This review will discuss the role of bone marrow-derived stem cells in the field of experimental and clinical plasticity studies. Observations compatible with the concept of stem cell plasticity will be weighed against limitations of the experimental systems employed.

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