Adult Stem Cell Definition
Adult stem cells, also known as somatic stem cells, are undifferentiated cells found throughout our body that multiply to replenish dying or damaged cells, thus regenerating damage tissues. Interestingly, it has been found that Stem cell function becomes impaired with aging, thus reducing body’s ability to repair or renew its damaged or aging organs. Some believe that loss of stem cell function is the major contributor to aging in humans.
Types of Adult Stem Cells
- Hematopoietic Stem Cells- found in bone marrow and umbilical cord blood and give rise to all the blood cell types.
- Mammary Stem Cells- arise from breast gland.
- Intestinal Stem Cells- constantly regenerate the intestinal lining.
- Mesenchymal Stem Cells- are of stromal origin (placenta, fat, lung, bone marrow, blood).
- Endothelial Stem Cells- line the blood vessels and contribute to their growth.
- Neural Ctem Cells- found in adult brain and nervous system.
- Olfactory Adult Stem Cells- exist in the lining of the nose and involved in the sense of smell.
- Neural Crest Stem Cells- arise from hair follicles and neural tissue.
- Testicular Stem Cells- found in testicles.
Mesenchymal Stem cells
Mesenchymal stem cells are stem cells derived from non-marrow tissue, such as placenta, umbilical cord blood, adipose tissue (fat), adult muscle, and corneal stroma which don’t have the capacity to reconstitute an entire organ. They are re-termed as Multipotent Stromal Cells (MSC). MSCs are transplanted or injected into areas of the body to repair lost or damaged tissues. This treatment by use of stem cells has started the new phrase- “Stem-cell Therapy”.