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Stem cells for tissue regeneration

M. Bokulich
From: Science & Medicine: Volume 9 Number 4: Page 228 (August 2003)

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Abstract: As stem cells develop, they are believed to become increasingly tissue specific, and once committed, they can produce only cell types of a specific somatic lineage. Recent reports now suggest that adult stem cells, found in the liver, skin, bone marrow, and brain, are capable of generating cells of different tissues. In a new or different tissue, stem cells might respond to signals from the tissue microenvironment and reprogram themselves to produce cells appropriate to the new tissue. In animal and human studies, bone marrow-derived hematopoietic stem cells have been shown to differentiate into mature nonhematopoietic cells of multiple tissues, including cardiac myocytes. This plasticity may be useful in regeneration medicine.

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