New type of stem cell from menstrual blood

Nov. 15, 2007 at 11:14 AM
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WICHITA, Kan., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A team of U.S. and Canadian researchers have identified a new type of stem cell that can be isolated from menstrual blood of healthy women.

Dr. Xiaolong Meng of the Bio-Communications Research Institute in Wichita, Kansas, led the research team from the University of Alberta, University of Western Ontario and Medistem Laboratories. Meng said that the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing blood vessels is an essential part of the uterine or womb phase of the menstrual cycle.

Cells collected from the menstrual blood of women include types that can be cultured in the laboratory, which replicate almost 70 times -- far faster than cells taken from umbilical cord blood and bone marrow.

The findings, published in the Journal of Translational Medicine, said that the cells can develop into at least nine different cells including heart, liver and lung.

These cells could be cultured at a large scale, thereby providing an alternative to the current methods of using bone marrow and umbilical cord blood, which pose threats of rejection, Meng said.

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