September 23, 2008

Children’s Researchers Find Stem Cells With ‘Unlimited Potential’

The walls of blood vessels contain adult stem cells with the unlimited potential to differentiate into human tissues such as bone, cartilage and muscle, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh announced today.

The cells, known as pericytes, are described by Children's researchers in this month's issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell.

"This finding marks the first direct evidence of the source of multipotent adult stem cells known as mesenchymal stem cells. We believe pericytes represent one of the most promising sources of multipotent stem cells that scientists have been searching for in the quest to make regenerative medicine possible," Bruno Peault, deputy director of the Stem Cell Research Center at Children's, said in a news release.

"The encouraging aspect of this source is that blood vessels are the one structure that all tissues in the human body have in common," he said. "These cells can be extracted easily and painlessly ... and, possibly, re-injected into the patient to heal a broken bone, a failing joint or an injured muscle."

Originally published by The Tribune-Review.

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