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Differentiation. 2011 Mar;81(3):162-71. doi: 10.1016/j.diff.2011.01.005. Epub 2011 Feb 19.

Human amniotic membrane as an alternative source of stem cells for regenerative medicine.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, INIBIC-University of A Coruña, Spain; CIBER-BBN-Cellular Therapy Area, Spain.


The human amniotic membrane (HAM) is a highly abundant and readily available tissue. This amniotic tissue has considerable advantageous characteristics to be considered as an attractive material in the field of regenerative medicine. It has low immunogenicity, anti-inflammatory properties and their cells can be isolated without the sacrifice of human embryos. Since it is discarded post-partum it may be useful for regenerative medicine and cell therapy. Amniotic membranes have already been used extensively as biologic dressings in ophthalmic, abdominal and plastic surgery. HAM contains two cell types, from different embryological origins, which display some characteristic properties of stem cells. Human amnion epithelial cells (hAECs) are derived from the embryonic ectoderm, while human amnion mesenchymal stromal cells (hAMSCs) are derived from the embryonic mesoderm. Both populations have similar immunophenotype and multipotential for in vitro differentiation into the major mesodermal lineages, however they differ in cell yield. Therefore, HAM has been proposed as a good candidate to be used in cell therapy or regenerative medicine to treat damaged or diseased tissues.

Copyright © 2011 International Society of Differentiation. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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