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Exp Hematol. 2007 Dec;35(12):1753-65. Epub 2007 Oct 18.

The potential of umbilical cord blood multipotent stem cells for nonhematopoietic tissue and cell regeneration.

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Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University and Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital New York-Presbyterian, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Stem cells have been isolated from human embryos, fetal tissue, umbilical cord blood (UCB), and also from "adult" sources. Adult stem cells are found in many tissues of the body and are capable of maintaining, generating, and replacing terminally differentiated cells. A source of pluripotent stem cells has been recently identified in UCB that can also differentiate across tissue lineage boundaries into neural, cardiac, epithelial, hepatocytic, and dermal tissue. Thus, UCB may provide a future source of stem cells for tissue repair and regeneration. Its widespread availability makes UCB an attractive source for tissue regeneration. UCB-derived stem cells offer multiple advantages over adult stem cells, including their immaturity, which may play a significant role in reduced rejection after transplantation into a mismatched host and their ability to produce larger quantities of homogenous tissue or cells. While research with embryonic stem cells continues to generate considerable controversy, human umbilical stem cells provide an alternative cell source that has been more ethically acceptable and appears to have widespread public support. This review will summarize the in vitro and in vivo studies examining UCB stem cells and their potential use for therapeutic application for nonhematopoietic tissue and cell regeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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