Washington, Apr 23 : A team, led by an Indian researcher, has revealed that menstrual blood can be a vital source of multi-potential stem cells for use in regenerative medicine.
Stromal stem cells present in connective tissues has been identified in endometrial tissues of the uterus.
When the fresh growth of tissue and blood vessels is shed during each menstrual cycle, some cells with regenerative capabilities are present and collectable. While collecting menstrual blood stromal cells (MenSCs) directly from tissue would be invasive, retrieving them during the menstrual cycle would not be.
"Stromal stem cells derived from menstrual blood exhibit stem cell properties, such as the capacity for self-renewal and multipotency," said Dr. Amit N. Patel, Director of Cardiac Cell Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh's McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine.
"Uterine stromal cells have similar multipotent markers found in bone marrow stem cells and originate in part from bone marrow.
"Studies have demonstrated that MenSCs are easily expandable to clinical relevance and express multipotent markers at both the molecular and cellular level," Patel added.
The study showed that MenSCs could differentiate into adipogenic, chondrogenic, osteogenic, ectodermal, mesodermal, cardiogenic, and neural cell lineages and maintained greater than 50 percent of their telomerase activity when compared to human embryonic stem cells and better than bone marrow-derived stem cells.
"The ideal cell would also have the ability to be used in an allogenic manner from donors for optimal immunogenic compatibility. Due to their ease of collection and isolation, MenSCs would be a great source of multipotent cells if they exhibit this property along with their ability to differentiate," said Julie G. Allickson, Ph.D., Vice President of Laboratory Operations and Research and Development, Cryo-Cell International, Inc.,
"The preliminary results are extremely encouraging and support the importance of further study of these cells in several different areas including heart disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease," she added.
The study is published in the recent issue of Cell Transplantation (Volume 17, issue 3).