Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 86, Issue 12, pp 1301–1314 | Cite as

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

  • Sabine Hombach-Klonisch
  • Soumya Panigrahi
  • Iran Rashedi
  • Anja Seifert
  • Esteban Alberti
  • Paola Pocar
  • Maciej Kurpisz
  • Klaus Schulze-Osthoff
  • Andrzej Mackiewicz
  • Marek Los


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.


Autoimmune disease G-CSF Graft vs. host reaction Stem/progenitor cell Trans-differentiation 





breast cancer resistance protein1


bone marrow


coronary artery bypass graft


central nervous system


cardiac stem cell


embryonic stem cells


fetal liver kinase-1


granulocyte-colony stimulating factor


granulocyte-macrophage-colony stimulating factor


human leukocyte antigen


hematopoietic stem cell


left ventricular assist device


left ventricular ejection fraction


multipotent adult progenitor cells


myogenic regulatory factor


mesenchymal stromal cell


neural cell adhesion molecule


neuronal stem cells


New York Heart Association


peripheral blood


stem cell antigen 1


side population


umbilical cord


vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2



The authors (SHK, ML) would like to thank the Manitoba Health Research Council (MHRC) for their generous support. We apologize to those authors whose research was not cited in this review due to the reference number limitations.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabine Hombach-Klonisch
    • 1
  • Soumya Panigrahi
    • 2
    • 3
  • Iran Rashedi
    • 3
    • 4
  • Anja Seifert
    • 1
  • Esteban Alberti
    • 5
  • Paola Pocar
    • 6
  • Maciej Kurpisz
    • 7
  • Klaus Schulze-Osthoff
    • 8
  • Andrzej Mackiewicz
    • 9
  • Marek Los
    • 10
  1. 1.Department of Human Anatomy and Cell ScienceUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology, CancerCare ManitobaUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  4. 4.Department of Biochemistry and Medical GeneticsUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  5. 5.Department of Neurobiology, International Center of Neurological RestorationCIRENHavanaCuba
  6. 6.Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  7. 7.Institute of Human GeneticsPolish Academy of SciencePoznanPoland
  8. 8.Institute of Molecular MedicineUniversity of DuesseldorfDuesseldorfGermany
  9. 9.Department of Cancer ImmunologyPoznan University of Medical Sciences, and Great-Poland Cancer CenterPoznanPoland
  10. 10.BioApplications EnterprisesWinnipegCanada

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