Adult Stem Cells Found in Hair Follicles

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Adult Stem Cells Found in Hair Follicles

Postby Melody » Sat Dec 16, 2006 7:35 am

Adult Stem Cells Found in Hair Follicles
12.15.06, 12:00 AM ET

FRIDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Adult stem cells found in the bulge of hair follicles may provide an alternative to embryonic stem cells, say researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
Like embryonic stem cells, these epidermal neural crest stem cells have a high degree of plasticity, can be isolated at high levels of purity, and can be expanded in culture, the researchers said.

And, similar to other types of adult stem cells, the epidermal neural crest stem cells can be harvested through a minimally invasive procedure. This means that it may be possible to use a patient's own hair as source for stem cell therapy.

The researchers tested the epidermal neural crest stem cells in mice and achieved promising results.

"We grafted the cells into mice that have spinal cord injuries and were encouraged by the results. The cells survived and integrated into the spinal cord, remaining at the site of transplantation and not forming tumors," lead researcher Maya Sieber-Blum, a professor of cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy, said in a prepared statement.

The findings were published in a recent issue of the journal Stem Cells: The International Journal of Cell Differentiation and Proliferation.

These types of cells may prove useful in treating a number of conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and stroke.

"We see the potential for cell-replacement therapy in which patients can be their own donors, which would avoid ethical issues [associated with embryonic stem cells] and reduce the possibility of tissue incompatibility," Sieber-Blum said.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about stem cells.

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Embryonic versus adult stem cells

Postby sunocean » Thu May 24, 2007 10:42 am

UNDERSTANDING STEM CELL THERAPY

[Adapted from an article by Dr. Madalyn Ward - special thanks!]

Stem cells and stem cell therapy have received a lot of news coverage lately, some of it controversial, so we’ve decided to discuss stem cells and stem cell therapy in general, along with several approaches to stem cell therapy. The stem cell therapies we advocate are both legal and simple, especially with the advent of a new nutritional product called Stemplex from Simplexity Health. But first, a little about the stem cell itself...

<><> Embryonic Versus Adult Stem Cells <><>
A stem cell is an undifferentiated cell that can renew itself and develop into at least three different types of tissue. Embryonic stem cells are derived from early stage embryos and have the ability to differentiate into all adult cell types. Embryonic stem cells behave in a consistent way under a microscope but are much less predictable when injected into the body. They can offer some benefits for research but their use is controversial and they are not useful for actual treatments.

Adult stem cells reside in post-fetal animals. Examples are linage-committed such as hematopoietic stem cells that become red or white blood cells, or mesenchymal stem cells that can become many types of tissue, including bone, tendon, ligament, cartilage, heart, liver, or nerves. Sources of adult stem cells include bone marrow, fat, brain tissue, and muscles. Of all the tissues, fat yields the largest numbers of mesenchymal stem cells, while bone marrow or umbilical blood yield more stem cells that will become red or white blood cells.

<><> Types of Stem Cells <><>
There are several different categories of stem cells, including autologous, allogenic, and xenogenic. Autologous stem cells are those derived from the same animal. These are best for transplanting since there is no concern about them being rejected. Allogenic stem cells are from a donor of the same species. Since stem cells do not have the standard cell surface markers that would trigger immune response, these cells can potentially be used without fear of rejection by the host tissue. Xenogenic stem cells come from a donor of another species, such as a pig. Although one would expect these cells to be rejected, because of their unique characteristics they can survive, in some cases, when injected into the body of another species.

<><> How Do Stem Cells Work? <><>
The most commonly cited function of stem cells is their ability to differentiate into different tissues but they also have other abilities that can be very beneficial for healing. Stem cells produce over 30 types of growth factors and tissue chemicals that stimulate healing. Stem cells help recruit other local and systemic stem cells to focus on repairing damaged tissue. They are also active in immune modulation to promote or suppress T-cell function. Stem cells are triggered to move into an area by signals from the tissue based on chemical, neural, and mechanical changes. Hypoxia, which is lack of oxygen, and inflammation are strong triggers for stem cells to target an injury, although the stems cells account for less than half of the new tissue formed. The rest of the repair is done by other cells recruited and managed by the initial stem cells. This is why very tiny injections of stem cells are used. Injecting larger numbers of stem cells into an injured area can actually interfere with healing, since some of the injected cells die and must be removed during the healing process.
Under ideal conditions stem cells would respond to injuries and healing would occur. Factors that affect stem cell response include the age of the animal, the fitness of the animal, and the level of free radicals in the body. Free radicals damage all cells, including stem cells.

<><> Stem Cell Therapy in Horses <><>
One kind of promising stem cell therapy is based on increasing the numbers and activity of the our own stem cells using nutrition. Just as scientists discovered that beta glucan is a nutrient that stimulates the white blood cells called macrophages, researchers have now identified nutrients that stimulate and cause the proliferation of stem cells. Based on this research, Simplexity Health has developed a product called Stemplex ™ that contains green tea extract, wild blueberry, the amino acid carnosine, blueberry extract, vitamin D, and blue-green algae. We have been using this product ourselves and recommending it to others to alleviate chronic or acute conditions that have been otherwise difficult to heal.

Stem cell therapy has huge potential and should be considered as a healing treatment for injuries or organ damage. In addition, systemic stem cell therapy shows promise in treating neurological conditions. Providing nutritional support for the body’s own stem cells is always a good option. Stemplex.info
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