, Volume 86, Issue 12, pp 1301-1314
Date: 16 Jul 2008

Adult stem cells and their trans-differentiation potential—perspectives and therapeutic applications

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Stem cells are self-renewing multipotent progenitors with the broadest developmental potential in a given tissue at a given time. Normal stem cells in the adult organism are responsible for renewal and repair of aged or damaged tissue. Adult stem cells are present in virtually all tissues and during most stages of development. In this review, we introduce the reader to the basic information about the field. We describe selected stem cell isolation techniques and stem cell markers for various stem cell populations. These include makers for endothelial progenitor cells (CD146/MCAM/MUC18/S-endo-1, CD34, CD133/prominin, Tie-2, Flk1/KD/VEGFR2), hematopoietic stem cells (CD34, CD117/c-Kit, Sca1), mesenchymal stem cells (CD146/MCAM/MUC18/S-endo-1, STRO-1, Thy-1), neural stem cells (CD133/prominin, nestin, NCAM), mammary stem cells (CD24, CD29, Sca1), and intestinal stem cells (NCAM, CD34, Thy-1, CD117/c-Kit, Flt-3). Separate section provides a concise summary of recent clinical trials involving stem cells directed towards improvement of a damaged myocardium. In the last part of the review, we reflect on the field and on future developments.