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Med Sci (Paris). 2003 Jun-Jul;19(6-7):683-94.

[Adult stem cells: seing is not being].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Inserm U.421, Faculté de médecine, 8, rue du Général Sarrail, 94010 Créteil, France.


Recent unexpected observations in adult rodents that stem/progenitor cells located in the bone marrow, but also in other tissues, could, after their transplantation to an irradiated host contribute to the regeneration of damaged organs such as brain, liver, pancreas or muscle, have raised much hope for future therapeutic applications. These data have also initially been interpreted as a proof of a possible transdifferentiation or plasticity of adult stem cells located in these tissues. Additional experiments rigorously analyzed have tempered initial enthusiasm, by showing that if marrow cells do migrate in damaged muscles and liver, their contribution to organ repair is low, and in some cases, explained by cell fusion. Nevertheless, among bone marrow cells, two categories of stem cells now emerge that have a potentially tremendous interest in cell therapy, if we succeed in understanding how to purify, amplify and differentiate these more efficiently and reproducibly.

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