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Mol Aspects Med. 2001 Jun;22(3):149-64.

Potential of embryonic stem cells.

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In Vitro Differentiation Group, Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Corrensstr. 3, D-06466, Gatersleben, Germany.


Embryonic stem (ES) cells are pluripotent cell lines established from undifferentiated embryonic cells characterized by nearly unlimited self-renewal and differentiation capacity. During differentiation in vitro, ES cells were found to be able to develop into specialized somatic cells types and to recapitulate processes of early embryonic development. These properties allow to use ES cells as model system for studying early embryonic development by gain- or loss-of-function approaches, or to investigate the effects of drugs and environmental factors on differentiation and cell function in embryotoxicity and pharmacology. Now, ES cells derived of human blastocysts may be used for the generation of somatic precursor or differentiated cells in cell and tissue therapy. The review presents data of mouse ES cell differentiation and gives an outlook on future perspectives and problems of using human ES cells in regenerative medicine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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