8 Types of stem cells | Their differences and sources

Stem cell differentiating into other cells

The stem cells are normal human cells with an ability to transform into other body cells.

They are of different types like

  • Embryonic stem cells
  • adipose stem cells
  • amniotic stem cells
  • umbilical cord stem cells
  • dental stem cells
  • bone marrow stem cells
  • mammary stem cells

Stem cells are thought to be important health rescuers in the future.

These cells have similar characters like ability to differentiate and form new cells or tissues.

But yet, among them, there are a few basic differences

What are the different types of stem cells

Stem cells are basically of two types as

  1. CD34 stem cells
  2. Mesenchymal stem cells.

CD34 stem cells are the stem cells that can form any type of tissue, i.e., they can differentiate into any type of cells in the body.

They are obtained from tissues of blood sources like bone marrow, placental blood, etc.

They are widely applicable in body repair and damage.

They are collected from umbilical cord blood and bone marrow for the purpose.

The quantity of stem cells obtained from these sources is enormous and hence suitable for extensive use.

They can form almost any type of tissue in the body.

Mesenchymal stem cells

  • As the name indicates, are obtained from mesenchyme, i.e., the connective tissue in the body like adipose tissue, placental tissue, etc.
  • They are able to differentiate and form only connective tissue but not blood and tissues.
  • They have limited application in comparison to CD 34 stem cells. The tissue which they can form are bones, cartilage, neuron, and muscle.
  • In comparison to CD34 cells, their potential for effective repair is low.
  • For instance, there are doubts if the neurons produced by these stem cells are functional.
  • Moreover, the number of stem cells which can be obtained from these sources is low in comparison to that obtained from the CD34 stem cell source.

Different types of stem cells based on their sources

There are few sources from which stem cells can be obtained like

Adipose stem cells (ACSs)

  • These stem cells are derived from fat.
  • As per a review in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery(R), the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), they are a promising source of cells for use in plastic surgery and regenerative medicine.
  • They are multipotent cells that can be induced to develop into other kinds of cells like bone, cartilage and muscle cells.
  • These adipose stem cells also promote the development of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) and seem to represent an “immune privileged” set of cells that blocks inflammation.

Dental stem cells

  • Dental stem cells are those derived from soft tissue pulp inside the teeth.
  • They are few in number but have the capacity to differentiate.
  • They are mesenchymal types of stem cells.
  • They can transform into muscle, adipose, neuronal, bone, and cartilage tissues.

Amniotic stem cells

  • These are mesenchymal stem cells obtained from amniotic fluid.
  • Amniotic fluid is present around the fetus in pregnant women to nourish and safeguard the baby.
  • They can be differentiated into connective tissues like bone, skin, nerves, muscle, etc.

Umbilical cord stem cells 

  • These stem cells, as mentioned above, are CD34 cells and have wide applications.
  • They are obtained from the umbilical cord of newborn babies and stored in stem cell banks.
  • They have advantages like being available in sufficient quantity, the ability to differentiate into blood cells and mesenchymal cells, having a long life and retaining the full potential to multiply and differentiate.
  • Hence they are given priority for storage in stem cell banks.

Bone marrow stem cells

  • These cells are obtained from bone marrow and are CD34 cells with the capacity to differentiate into any type of tissue.
  • But unlike umbilical cord stem cells, they are not available in huge quantities.

Embryonic stem cells

  • These cells are obtained from a fertilized human embryo.
  • They are able to multiply into any type of cell and are also indefinitely.

Leave a Comment