PITTSBURGH, April 24 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say they have identified a potentially unlimited, non-controversial, easily collectible and cheap source of stem cells -- menstrual blood.
Dr. Amit N. Patel of the University of Pittsburgh's McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine said that stromal stem cells -- cells that are present in connective tissues -- have recently 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 collectible.
"Stromal stem cells derived from menstrual blood exhibit stem cell properties, such as the capacity for self-renewal and multi-potency," Patel. "Uterine stromal cells have similar multi-potent markers found in bone marrow stem cells and originate in part from bone marrow."
The findings are published in Cell Transplantation.