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Amniotic Stem Cell and Its Future Applications

BY: Nidhi Uppangala | Category: Stem-Cells | Submitted: 2010-05-21 22:42:48
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Article Summary: "Stem cells extracted from amniotic fluid are known as amniotic stem cells. These stem cells are multipotent and have the capacity to divide many times without changing the length of telomere and also the karyotype..."


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INTRODUCTION:

Stem cells extracted from amniotic fluid are known as amniotic stem cells. These stem cells are multipotent and have the capacity to divide many times without changing the length of telomere and also the karyotype.
These amniotic stem cells can be differentiated into almost all types of tissues like nerve, muscle, bone, and all other human cells in a particular physiological condition

Now the question arises what is amniotic fluid?
The clear, little yellowish nourishing and protecting liquid present in amniotic sac surrounding unborn foetus is known as amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid contains all the required nourishing elements for the growing foetus like proteins, carbohydrates, electrolytes and much more along with these multipotent stem cells.

Single placenta contains around 300 million amniotic stem cells, which can be multiplied 10 to 60 billion cells.

Advantages of Amniotic Stem Cells:

Amniotic stem cells show the combined best features of both embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells like

1) Amniotic stem cells are obtained without destructing the embryo. Therefore there will be less or no protests from pro-life activists.
2) Amniotic stem cells can be differentiated into almost all lineage cells by changing the medium ( growth hormones, growth factors, minerals )in which they are growing.
3) Scientists were able to differentiate amniotic stem cells into adipogenic cell, osteogenic cell, myogenic cell, neuronal cell, endothelial cell and hepatic lineage cell. These cells also showed specialized functions of their lineage. For example neuronal lineage cells secreted neurotransmitter like L-glutamate. Urea was produced by hepatic lineage cells.
4) Amniotic stem cells are much easier to obtain than the other two stem cells.

Uses:

1) Amniotic stem cell can be useful in treating patients with cardiovascular disease.
2) Amniotic stem cell can be useful in treating patients with neural disorders.
3) Amniotic stem cell can be useful in treating patients with Diabetes.
4) Amniotic stem cell can be useful in treating patients with liver problems.
5) Amniotic stem cell can be useful in treating patients with kidney problems
6) Amniotic stem cell can be useful in treating patients with hematopoietic dysfunction.
7) Amniotic stem cell can be useful in treating patients with cancer.
8) Amniotic stem cell can be useful in treating patients with musculoskeletal disorders.
9) Amniotic stem cell can be useful in treating patients with birth defects.
10) Since the DNA or genome of these amniotic stem cells are same as child or adult's own genome there will be no immunological rejection.

Amniotic stem cell banks:

Amniotic stem cells can be extracted from pregnant women and can be stored in amniotic stem cell bank. These cells can be utilized to treat if the born child or adult gets some disorder or health problems.

Ethical Issues:

1) The extraction of the amniotic fluid from the womb imposes a small percent of risk on pregnant women and on the unborn child.
2) The extracted amniotic fluid can be used to test the genetic disorders of the foetus. If the test indicated the possibility of some genetic disorders the parent will opt for an abortion.

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