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