Stem cells are biological cells found in all multicellular organisms, that can divide (throughmitosis) and
into diverse specialized cell types and can
to producemore stem cells.
In mammals, there are two broad types of stem cells:
embryonic stem cells
, which areisolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts, and
adult stem cells
, which are found invarious tissues.
In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a
for the body,replenishing adult tissues. In a developing embryo, stem cells can differentiate into all thespecialized cells (these are called pluripotent cells), but also maintain the normal turnover ofregenerative organs, such as blood, skin, or intestinal tissues.
Autologous stem cells can be sourced in adult human from three sources: Bone marrow(through harvesting), adipose tissues and blood.
Stem cells can also be taken from umbilical cord blood just after birth.
Properties of Stem cells:
The ability to go through numerous cycles of cell division while maintainingthe undifferentiated state.
The capacity to differentiate into specialized cell types. In the strictest sense, thisrequires stem cells to be either totipotent or pluripotent—to be able to give rise to anymature cell type, although multipotent or unipotent progenitor cells are sometimes referredto as stem cells.
Potency of Stem Cells:
(a.k.a. omnipotent) stem cells can differentiate into embryonic andextraembryonic cell types. Such cells can construct a complete, viable organism. These cellsare produced from the fusion of an egg and sperm cell. Cells produced by the first fewdivisions of the fertilized egg are also totipotent.
stem cells are the descendants of totipotent cells and can differentiate intonearly all cells, i.e. cells derived from any of the three germ layers.
stem cells can differentiate into a number of cells, but only those of a closelyrelated family of cells. Eg Blood Cells
stem cells can differentiate into only a few cells, such as lymphoid or myeloidstem cells.
cells can produce only one cell type, their own, but have the property of self-renewal, which distinguishes them from non-stem cells (e.g., muscle stem cells).
Induced pluripotent stem cell:
A pluripotent cell is a stem cell that has the potential to differentiate into any of the threegerm layers:
(interior stomach lining, gastrointestinal tract, the lungs),
(muscle, bone, blood, urogenital), or
(epidermal tissues and nervoussystem).
Pluripotent stem cells can give rise to any fetal or adult cell type.
However, alone they
develop into a fetal or adult organism because they lack thepotential to contribute to
, such as the placenta.They are a type ofpluripotent stem cell artificially derived from a non-pluripotent cell - typically an adult
- by inducing a
expression of specific genes.
2012 Noble Prize in Medicine to
Shinya Yamanaka , John Gurdon