Researchers are always seeking more and more ways that are viable and safe for gathering stem cells. Now it seems they’ve finally identified a potentially unlimited, noncontroversial, easily collectable, and inexpensive source – menstrual blood.
Stromal stem cells – cells that are present in connective tissues – have recently been identified in endometrial tissues of the uterus. What that means is that whenever the female gets a menstrual cycle, there are some cells which are regenerative and can be collected.
“Stromal stem cells derived from menstrual blood exhibit stem cell properties, such as the capacity for self-renewal and multipotency,” said Amit N. Patel, MD, MS, 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.”
Tests showed that MenSCs could differentiate into adipogenic, chondrogenic, osteogenic, ectodermal, mesodermal, cardiogenic, and neural cell lineages. That means they’re really really useful.
“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.”