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Horm Res. 2003;60 Suppl 3:11-4.

Potential of human embryonic stem cells in regenerative medicine.

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Hubrecht Laboratory, Netherlands Institute for Developmental Biology, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Stem cells can give rise to more stem cells or differentiate into more specialized cells. In the last 5 years not only have researchers succeeded in isolating human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines but also in identifying adult stem cells with possible pluripotent differentiation capacity. The shortage of donor organs or tissues for regenerative medicine has further stimulated research into the capacity of stem cells to differentiate into different cells and their use in replacement therapy in diseases such as Parkinson's, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and myocardial infarction. Current problems and recent progress with respect to hES cells and their potential use for clinical applications will be discussed. The potential of adult stem cells for differentiation and tissue repair is reviewed elsewhere.

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