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Sources of Stem Cells

1. ES Cells
• Spare Embryos: leftover from IVF clinics
• Special Purpose Embryos: created by IVF for the sole purpose of extracting stem cells
• Cloned Embryos: embryos can be cloned in the lab by somatic nuclear transfer in order to harvest their
stem cells
2. Adult stem cells
• Adult Tissues or Organs: stem cells can be isolated from tissues of living adults during surgery (eg.
hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow)
• Cadavers: neural progenitor cells have been isolated from human brain tissue up to 20 hours after death
3. Others
• Aborted Fetuses: can be used as a source of stem cells early in development (5-11 weeks of gestation)
• Umbilical Cords: this normally discarded tissue holds great promise as a source of blood-forming
(hematopoietic) stem cells

Research findings:

MSCs can differentiate into cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells in vivo when transplanted to the
heart following myocardial infarct (MI) or non-injury in pig, mouse, or rat models. Additionally, the
ability of MSCs to restore functionality may be enhanced by the simultaneous transplantation of
other stem cell types. Treatment with MSCs significantly increases myocardial function and capillary
formation in animal models. Allogeneic MSCs injected into infarcted myocardium in a pig model
regenerated myocardium and reduced infarct size without evidence of rejection