There is little, if any, evidence that adult stem cells can build other cells in an adult organism than those formed in the organs they themselves come from. At any rate, blood stem cells do not convert to heart muscle cells in a damaged heart, which was previously hoped. This has been shown by a research team from the Stem Cell Center at Lund University in Sweden in an article in Nature Medicine.
During the end of the 1990s and early 2000s scientists nourished great hopes that adult stem cells would be able to develop into all sorts of cells. If so, it would not be necessary to use the ethically more problematic embryonic stem cells. However, newer studies have shown that while adult stem cells are very good at producing different types of cells in their own respective organs, they have little or no ability to form cells in other organs.
“Both we and two American research teams have used various methods to replicate a study from three years ago that appeared in Nature. It was about transplanting blood stem cells to create new heart muscle cells to repair a heart after a heart attack. But all of our results univocally indicate that this is not possible,” says Jens Nygren. He is a doctoral student and part of research team headed by Professor Sten Eirik Jacobsen at the Stem Cell Center.
Ingela Björck | alfa
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