11 Nov Understanding Adult Stem Cells
Adult tissue stem cells are a small fraction of total tissue cells that maintain the entire tissue, and continuously divide and produce non-stem cells to maintain and repair the tissue.
Adult tissue stem cells vs. embryonic stem cells
Adult tissue stem cells can self-renew. In other words, they can divide to produce differentiating cells without differentiating themselves. This is known as asymmetric self-renewal.
On the other hand, embryonic stem cells lack the ability to asymmetrically self-renew. To produce differentiating cells, embryonic stem cells must differentiate themselves. Embryonic stem cells are also potentially risky because of the problem of high levels of mutation and tumor-formation. This problem is not seen with adult tissue stem cells.
Embryonic stem cells differentiate into immature tissues that are not found in the body after birth while adult tissue stem cells produce mature differentiated cells, like the ones found in the body after birth.
Adult tissue stem cells vs. Induced pluripotent stem cells
Adult tissue stem cells can divide to produce differentiating cells but not differentiate themselves as opposed to induced pluripotent stem cells that lack the capacity of asymmetric self-renewal. To produce differentiating cells, induced pluripotent stem cells themselves must differentiate. Induced pluripotent stem cells also pose the risk of high levels of mutation and tumor-formation.
This makes adult tissue stem cells the best candidate for the treatment of conditions and repair and regeneration of tissue sin the body.