Adult Stem Cells
By Suzanne Kadereit
Adult stem cells are stem cells that can be
derived from different parts of the body and,
depending on where they are from, have
different properties. They exist
different tissues including bone marrow, blood
and the brain. Some studies have suggested that
adult stem cells are very versatile and can
develop into many different cell types.
However, other studies have concluded that
adult stem cells are only able to develop into a
limited number of cell types related to the tissue
that the stem cells originally came from.
Although a wealth of information on adult stem
cells has already accumulated, scientists still do
not understand their specific properties well.
Research continues with the hope of one day
being able to use these cells to restore or replace
damaged tissues or organs.
Hematopoietic stem cells are adult stem cells
found mainly in the bone marrow and they
provide the blood cells required for daily blood
turnover and for fighting infections. Compared
to adult stem cells
hematopoietic stem cells are easy to obtain, as
they can be either aspirated directly out of the
bone marrow or stimulated to move into the
peripheral blood stream, where they can be
Hematopoietic stem cells have been studied by
scientists for many years, and they were the first
stem cells to be used successfully in therapies.
Hematopoietic stem cells have been used for
decades to treat blood cancers (e.g. leukemia)
and other blood disorders. More recently, their
use in treatment of breast cancer and coronary
artery diseases has also been explored.
The potential for hematopoietic stem cells to
produce cell types other than blood cells has
become the subject of
controversy, and it is still not clear whether they
could be used on a clinical scale to restore
tissues and organs other than blood and the