What Are Embryonic Stem cells?
Stem cells form the foundation for every tissue and organ you find in the body. Different stem cells come from different parts of body and tend to be created at different times during the lifetime. Embryonic stem cells are seen in the earliest stages of life during the development of the embryo. Tissue-specific or what is termed as adult stem cells form during the development of the fetus and remain in the person’s body during lifetime. All stem cells are able to make copies of themselves in what we call self-renew and they also develop to form specialized cells in what is called differentiation.
During pregnancy, the umbilical tissue of the baby nurtures life. It is responsible for carrying oxygen-rich cells as well as nutrients from the mother’s placenta to the baby. The umbilical tissue also allows the baby to pump blood that is deoxygenated and depleted of nutrients back to the placenta. When the baby is delivered, the placenta and umbilical cord comprise blood that can be extracted to obtain stem cells for use in different stem cell therapies. The cells in the cord blood comprise hematopoietic stem cells and also progenitor cells. These cells may also be found within peripheral blood and bone marrow.1,2
Mesenchymal Stem Cells
In the umbilical cord, there are also mesenchymal stem cells ((MSCs), which are also known as bone marrow (BM) stromal stem cells because they are typically found within the bone marrow. MSCs are a type of adult stem cells and they are multipotent, which means they can give rise to different specialized cell, however, not all types can do that. When transplanted in an individual’s body, mesenchymal cells may create bone cells, fat cells or adipocytes, and cartilage cells. Usually, mesenchymal stem cells are found in the cord material and not in the umbilical cord blood.
Hematopoietic stem cells
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are capable of dividing to form a collection of different blood cells including red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells. Hematopoietic stem cells are usually immature or naive and they can develop into almost any type of blood cells2.
Progenitor cells are usually limited in their ability to differentiate and form specialized cells. They also cannot divide or reproduce indefinitely like hematopoietic stem cells. That being said, these cells still have potential for use in medicine. For example, researchers in Boston Children’s Hospital are studying the possibility that muscle and blood progenitor cells could be used to build heart valves and blood vessels3,4.
Uses of New Born Stem cells
Newborn stem cells can be used to treat many genetic disorders, malignant ailments, and non-malignant diseases. Banking newborn’s stem cells derived from cord blood can help with treatment of these diseases.
Keywords: stem cells; cord blood; umbilical cord blood; Banking newborn’s stem cells
- What is Cord Blood? https://www.cordbloodbanking.com/cord-blood/
- Hematopoietic Stem Cell. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/hematopoietic-stem-cell
- What are Progenitor Cells? http://stemcell.childrenshospital.org/about-stem-cells/adult-somatic-stem-cells-101/what-are-progenitor-cells/
- Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells (HSPCs) https://www.stemcell.com/hematopoietic-stem-and-progenitor-cells-lp.html