What are the Different Types of Stem Cells?
Stem cells are a type of cell that can differentiate into other types of cells in the body and self-renew. This makes them critical for both regenerative medicine and cancer research. There are several different types of stem cells, each with unique characteristics.
Illustration showing different types of stem cell growth.
This article also covers the difference between embryonic and adult stem cells. Let’s begin:
Different Types of Stem Cells
Stem cells appear throughout the body in various tissues. Let’s have a look at the different types of stem cells.
Adult Stem Cells
Adult stem cells or tissue-specific stem cells are found in adults, which means that they cannot be used in children. They are in many organs, such as the skin, brain, hair follicles, bone marrow, blood vessels, and teeth. Adult stem cells are not as versatile as embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells. They usually only give rise to specific types of cells, usually in the same organ from which they were taken. This means that adult stem cells can only treat diseases or damage in the same part of the body.
Adult stem cells are essential for tissue regeneration and wound healing. There exist different types of adult stem cells;
- Bone Marrow Stem Cells
- Hematopoietic Stem Cells
- Skin Stem Cells
- Neural Stem Cells
Bone Marrow Stem Cells
Bone marrow stem cells are the type of adult stem cell that is most readily recognized because these cells are responsible for blood production in the body. Blood requires particular cells; red blood cells, white blood cells (also called leukocytes), and platelets.
These stem cells produce these three types of cells in the body, but they can also treat blood diseases like leukemia and other cancers.
Bone marrow stem cell transplants can replace this procedure. Healthy bone marrow stem cells can be injected into the body to produce healthy blood and immune cells. This process needs experts like StemCures to help you.
Hematopoietic Stem Cells
Hematopoiesis is how new blood cells are produced and only occurs in the bone marrow.
Hematopoietic stem cells have been from bone marrow for decades, but they have limited use because of their low differentiation capacity. Still, hematopoietic stem cells treat over 80 different types of blood cancers.
Hematopoietic Stem cells are known for replicating themselves, but they can also differentiate into other cell types. They have a higher potential to differentiate than adult skin stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells are also called HSCs.
Skin Stem Cells
We all know that skin is one of the body’s largest organs, and it covers almost the entire exterior of our bodies. Skin stem cells are responsible for creating new skin cells in defined layers of the skin called the stratum basale. They help our skin regenerate and give rise to new hair follicles, so they are considered multipotent cells.
These multipotent stem cells can differentiate into different skin cells like keratinocytes (for the epidermis) and melanocytes (which produce pigment). Depending on their location in the body, they are also called “skin-derived precursors cells” or “SKPs.”
Neural Stem Cells
Possibly the most well-known stem cells, neural stem cells, can be found in different parts of the brain and spinal cord during development. They divide rapidly to generate new neurons that form into three main features of the brain: the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain. Neural stem cells generate neurons that connect to other nerve cells, creating connections known as synapses.
Neural Stem Cells are very similar to hematopoietic stem cells because they can self-renew into different cell types. More interestingly, they can also differentiate into other types of cells, like neurons and astrocytes.
Embryonic Stem Cells
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are from five days old or younger embryos. These pluripotent stem cells can evolve into every type of cell found in the body, which is why they are so controversial and heavily studied. Like other types of embryonic cells, these self-renew, but they can also differentiate into very different cells from the ones they came from.
When ESCs are derived, they can be cultured to produce “embryoid bodies” containing differentiated cells. Not only do these embryonic stem cells show promise for regenerative medicine, but they may also play an essential role in our understanding of genetic diseases like cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and more.
The widespread use of embryonic stem cells in medicine has been met with high levels of ethical debate because it involves the destruction of human embryos to harvest their cells. As a result, there are significant restrictions on using these pluripotent cells for medical purposes.
Many scientists are now focusing on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These are genetically
reprogrammed adult cells to express the same genes as embryonic stem cells. This makes them pluripotent too, but without going through the ethically challenging process of destroying embryos.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are stromal cells are connective tissue surrounding organs and tissues. They are found in bone marrow, fat tissue, skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle and liver. Mesenchymal cell lines are capable of differentiating into bone, cartilage, and fat stem cells. Currently, there is no strong evidence that MSCs have any benefits to curing disorders or diseases. However, not all MSCs are the same. The potency and characteristics depend on where in the body the MSCs come from and how they are isolated and grown.
Types of Stem Cell Transplant
Stem cell transplantation is another subfield of regenerative medicine, which involves introducing stem cells to areas where they are needed. This may sound like a relatively straightforward process, but it isn’t clear how specificity in the body works.
It also requires a significant amount of knowledge about tissue levels and types for the transplant to be successful. StemCures are experts with vast experience in stem cell transplant processes, and they are available to help at any time.
Although there are many different types of stem cell transplantation, here is a look at some of the more common ones:
Adult Stem Cell Transplantation
In this type of stem cell therapy, the patient’s cells treat a degenerative condition. Because these cells were already developed in the body, there is no risk of the immune system rejecting them. This process can be especially useful in treating diseases like multiple sclerosis.
Embryonic Stem Cell Transplantation
This is similar to adult stem cell transplants, but they are from embryos instead of the patient’s cells. These therapies can be particularly effective for regenerating tissue and finding treatments for neurodegenerative conditions. However, there are significant political and ethical controversies surrounding embryonic stem cells in therapies.
There are many types of stem cells in the body, and these cells are in several different tissues and organs. Although they all can self-renew and differentiate into various cells, each type plays a unique role in our body. Although embryonic stem cells are controversial for ethical reasons, adult stem cells, specifically bone marrow stem cells have shown great potential.
Our clinic uses only your own body’s bone marrow stem cells to treat a variety of chronic and osteoarthritis pain and injuries. We have over 5 years of experience helping treat our patients who have seen incredible satisfactory results.
For more information about our procedure, please visit our stem cell procedure webpage or contact us at [email protected].
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