Internet Journal of Medical Update - EJOURNAL

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Stem Cell: Past, Present and Future- A Review Article

S Avasthi, R N Srivastava, A Singh


Stem cells are basic cells of all multicellular organisms
having the potency to differentiate into wide range of adult cells. Self
renewal and totipotency are characteristic of stem cells. Though
totipotency is shown by very early embryonic stem cells, the adult stem
cells possess multipotency and differential plasticity which can be
exploited for future generation of therapeutic options. Fortunately, the
regulators of pleuripotency such as oct-4 & nanong protein are
discovered and possibility of in vitro regulation of pleuripotency of
stem cells is gaining strength. Genetic regulation of adult stem cells in
the form of Bmi-1, Notch, sonic hedgehog & wnt gene is also being
worked upon and future can be regulation of stem cell differentiation in
vitro, in vivo or both. It is the knowledge of regulators of stem cells
which has opened the therapeutic usage of stem cells in the form of
neuron regeneration, treatment of bone defect, drug testing, gene
therapy and cell based therapy in the form of muscle damage, spinal
cord injury, cancer therapy etc. Cell based therapies might become
commercial in coming years.

Keywords: Stem Cell, Review, Clinical usage, Future prospects.

Internet Journal of Medical Update Vol. 3 (1) 2008: pp. 22-30
AJOL African Journals Online