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A Journal on Internal Medicine
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,6
Panminerva Medica 2004 March;46(1):1-11
Circulating stem cells and tissue repair
Hennessy B., Körbling M., Estrov Z.
Department of Bioimmunotherapy and Blood and Marrow Transplantation The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, Texas, USA
Stem cells are defined as cells that have clonogenic, self-renewing capacities and the capability to differentiate into multiple cell lineages. Whereas embryonic stem cells are derived from mammalian embryos in the blastocyst stage and can generate terminally differentiated cells of all 3 embryonic germ layers, adult human stem cells are capable of maintaining, generating, and replacing terminally differentiated cells within their own specific tissue as a consequence of physiologic cell turnover or tissue injury. The traditional idea of organ-restricted stem-cell differentiation is now being challenged by the suggestion that adult stem cells retain developmental plasticity. Preclinical and clinical studies described in this review provide evidence that within the blood circulate not only progenitor cells that differentiate into hematopoietic cells, but also stem/progenitor cells which can participate in the homeostasis, repair and replacement of solid organ tissues. In addition to the occurrence of cell fusion, there are 4 suggested mechanisms of adult stem cell differentiation into solid organ cells. Preclinical data support these models particularly that of transdifferentiation as the most likely model, allowing stem/progenitor cells to differentiate across lineage, tissue, and germ layer boundaries. There is increasing evidence that we can manipulate in vivo circulating adult stem cells to repair or regenerate solid organ tissue, which offers potential clinical benefit in the treatment of many hereditary and acquired diseases.