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Stem Cell Typology

Stem cells are divided into the following types.

Totipotent stem cells can develop into any type of body tissue or into extraembryonic tissues (trophoblast and placenta). These cells can build an entire organism. Pluripotent stem cells can become any type of body tissue, but not extraembryonic tissue. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent.
Multipotent stem cells are more differentiated than the types named above. They can differentiate into any cell type that occurs within the tissue where they are located. Adult stem cells are typical multipotent stem cells.
Unipotent stem cells can develop only into one specialized type of cell.

Two types of stem cells are found in umbilical cord blood and tissue:

Hematopoietic stem cells (multipotent), from which all blood cell lines arise. They are found in the bone marrow and in the very early embryo during the first few days of its existence.
Mesenchymal stem cells (pluripotent) can differentiate into many tissue types. They are found in the umbilical cord (Wharton's jelly), amniotic fluid, and the fetal portion of the placenta; also in adult bone marrow, dental pulp, and fat tissue.

Hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells can be taken from umbilical cord blood and tissue immediately after birth for cryogenic storage. This guarantees that they will be available throughout the baby's lifetime for use in curing certain serious diseases.
Page created on: 03/09/2012
Last modified on: 03/09/2012
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