Human skeletal stem cells identified, may have therapeutic potential: 4 things to know

Written by Shayna Korol | September 25, 2018 | Print  |

Researchers identified the human skeletal stem cell and derived it from induced pluripotent stem cells, according to findings published in Cell Stem Cell.

Here are four things to know:

1. The self-renewing, multipotent skeletal stem cells are distinct from mesenchymal stem cells. The skeletal stem cells, which were present in both fetal and adult human bone marrow tissues, may have therapeutic value.

2. Researchers compared mouse skeletal stem cell gene expression profiles with several human cell types at the growing ends of developing human bone. They identified a cell type that produced many of the same proteins as the mouse skeletal stem cell.

3. The human skeletal stem cell can make bone, cartilage and stroma progenitors. It is found at the end of developing bone, as well as near healing fracture sites.

4. The cells can be produced by reprogramming human fat cells or induced pluripotent stem cells.

According to the study's senior author and co-director of the Stanford (Calif.) Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Michael Longaker, MD, this cell source may revolutionize arthroscopic and regenerative medicine in the next decade.

"The [U.S.] has a rapidly aging population that undergoes almost two million joint replacements each year," he said in a statement. "If we can use this stem cell for relatively noninvasive therapies, it could be a dream come true."

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Regenexx makes new partnership to reduce musculoskeletal surgery costs

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