Author(s): Ilancheran S, Moodley Y, Manuelpillai U
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Abstract The ability of stem cells to differentiate into multiple cell lineages has ushered in exciting possibilities for stem cell based therapies that would be used to regenerate and repair damaged tissues and organs. Stem cells isolated from the embryo, fetus, adult and also the umbilical cord and placenta are being widely tested. Recent studies show that human fetal membranes also harbour cells with stem cell like properties. The amnion and chorion contain stromal cells that display characteristics and differentiation potential similar to that of adult, bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells. Amniotic epithelial cells share some of the features of pluripotent embryonic stem cells and multipotent mesenchymal stem cells and differentiate into multiple cell lineages in vitro. Amniotic epithelial cells also produce numerous substances that could augment tissue regeneration and repair. This review will focus on the stem cell like properties of stromal and epithelial cells derived from human fetal membranes and their potential use in stem cell based therapies.
This article was published in Placenta
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy