Types of Adult Stem Cells2018-03-14T21:20:36+00:00

Types of Adult Stem Cells

Stem cells reside in adult bone marrow and fat (adipose tissue), as well as in other tissues and organs of the body. These cells have a natural ability to repair damaged tissue; however, in people with degenerative diseases, the cells are not released quickly enough to fully repair the damaged tissue. In the case of adipose tissue, the stem cells may not be released at all. The process of actively extracting, concentrating and administering stem cells has been shown to have beneficial effects in degenerative conditions.

Adult Stem Cells

Adult stem cells can be extracted from many areas of the body, including the bone marrow, fat/adipose tissue, and peripheral blood. Once the cells have been harvested, they are sent to a lab where they are purified and assessed for quality before being reintroduced back in the patient. Using a patient’s own stem cells (autologous cells) does not present a risk of rejection, nor are any moral or ethical issues involved.  Stem cells isolated from bone marrow or fat have the ability to become different cell types (i.e. nerve cells, liver cells, heart cells, and cartilage cells). Studies have shown these cells to be capable of homing to and repairing damaged tissue. Animal studies have shown that these stem cells also secrete proteins and peptides that stimulate healing of damaged tissue, including heart muscle and spinal cord.

Human Umbilical Cord Tissue Mesenchymal Stem Cells (HUCT-MSC)

Human umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (HUCT-MSC) reside in the umbilical cords of newborn babies. HUCT-MSCs, like all post-natal cells, are “adult” stem cells.

Among many other advantageous characteristics, mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cord tissue are known to help reduce inflammation, modulate the immune system, and regenerate central nervous system tissue through the secretion of trophic factors.

Mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cord tissue are “immune privileged,” meaning that they can be used universally, and given to anyone, without rejection, and without the need for matching. The body’s immune system is unable to recognize HUCT-MSCs as foreign, and therefore they are not rejected, not even when used allogeneically (when the donor and recipient are not the same person). HUCT-MSCs also proliferate and differentiate much more efficiently than do “older” cells, such as those found in bone marrow or fat, and hence are considered to be more “potent.”

Bone Marrow Stem Cells

The bone marrow stem cell is the most studied of all the various types of stem cells, ever since the first successful bone marrow transplant in 1956. Originally used in bone marrow transplant for leukemias and hematopoietic diseases, numerous studies have now expanded experimental use of these cells for conditions such as peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, heart failure, and other degenerative disorders.

Adipose (Fat) Stem Cells

Fat stem cells are essentially sequestered and are not available to the rest of the body for repair or immune modulation. Fat-derived stem cells have been used for successful treatment of companion animals and horses with bone and joint injuries for the last 10 years with positive results.

Experimental studies suggest fat-derived stem cells not only can develop into new tissue but also suppress pathological immune responses as seen in autoimmune diseases.