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J Cell Mol Med. 2005 Jul-Sep;9(3):753-69.

Adult-derived stem cells and their potential for use in tissue repair and molecular medicine.

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  • 1Division of Basic Medical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics, Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, GA 31207, USA.


This report reviews three categories of precursor cells present within adults. The first category of precursor cell, the epiblast-like stem cell, has the potential of forming cells from all three embryonic germ layer lineages, e.g., ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. The second category of precursor cell, the germ layer lineage stem cell, consists of three separate cells. Each of the three cells is committed to form cells limited to a specific embryonic germ layer lineage. Thus the second category consists of germ layer lineage ectodermal stem cells, germ layer lineage mesodermal stem cells, and germ layer lineage endodermal stem cells. The third category of precursor cells, progenitor cells, contains a multitude of cells. These cells are committed to form specific cell and tissue types and are the immediate precursors to the differentiated cells and tissues of the adult. The three categories of precursor cells can be readily isolated from adult tissues. They can be distinguished from each other based on their size, growth in cell culture, expressed genes, cell surface markers, and potential for differentiation. This report also discusses new findings. These findings include the karyotypic analysis of germ layer lineage stem cells; the appearance of dopaminergic neurons after implantation of naive adult pluripotent stem cells into a 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned Parkinson's model; and the use of adult stem cells as transport mechanisms for exogenous genetic material. We conclude by discussing the potential roles of adult-derived precursor cells as building blocks for tissue repair and as delivery vehicles for molecular medicine.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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