Types of stem cells in the human body
There are three types of stem cells in the human body.
Totipotent stem cells: These cells are found during the first few days after fertilization of the ovum by the spermatozoan. These cells can differentiate into all types and classes of cells in the body, as well as the cells found in the umbilical cord and around the developing fetus.
Pluripotent stem cells
These cells are found in the foetus and umbilical cord during pregnancy and may differentiate into any of the three germ layers: endoderm, mesoderm, or ectoderm. These are then the progenitor cells for multipotent stem cells.
Multipotent stem cells
These cells are found in adults and can only differentiate into a few different types of tissue.
Mesenchymal stem cells are the progenitor cells for muscle, cartilage, fat, and bone. Thus, they are perfect to use in the treatment and regeneration of the musculoskeletal system.
Hematopoietic stem cells can turn into blood cells that are safe white blood cells, red blood cells platelets and other types of immune blood cells. These cells are often used in the treatment of systemic illness, especially disorders of the hematological system (the blood and immune system) like MS, or other neurological disorders.
- Stem cells are also, although less commonly found in the:
- Dental pulp
- Peripheral blood (very few)
Totipotent and Pluripotent stem cells are found in the foetus or in neonatal tissues. As these can turn into almost any type of cell in the body totipotent cells, in particular, are very powerful yet are only found in the early stages of foetal development and therefore not used in Europe outside of research, due to the ethical concerns they raise.
Here at Phoenix International Stem Cell clinic, we use mesenchymal stem cells to give our patients exceptional improvement to pain, function, and longevity of worn or injured joints.
We harvest these cells using a minimally invasive technique then transplant them to the affected and indicated jointly.
How do stem cells work?
Stem cells have multiple levels of effect and action in the body. In particular, they have the ability to differentiate – that is to change from a progenitor cell type to a different type of cell – this is how we can provoke new growth of tissue in worn joints.
Mesenchymal stem cells also have a central role in the paracrine system. This is the system whereby one cell communicates with an adjacent cell using chemical signals and is often the cause of local inflammation and even systemic inflammatory responses. These signals, when not properly controlled cause local swelling, pain, loss of function, and increased blood flow to an area as the body tries to fix the problem. This works well when we are young, and the damage to the body is minimal, however over time and with chronic wear and tear to the joints the body’s ability to heal tissues is reduced, while the burden on the joints increases. This negative spiral causes increasing destruction of the joint and without help there is no chance of recovery. The introduction of the patient’s own stem cells causes regrowth of tissue, and regulation of the inflammatory response to old injury resulting in less pain, more function, and better all-round health for the patient.