Stem cells from placental tissue
Based on their origin, perinatal tissues are very rich in stem cells; the most interesting in term of quantity and quality are the stem cells from placenta and from umbilical cord. Placenta has three sources of stem cells: amnion, villi, and blood; whereas umbilical cord stem cells come from two sources, cord blood and Wharton’s jelly. FCS offers the process and storage of all the stem cells coming from these tissues
Placental stem cells
Cell therapy approaches are playing an increasingly important role in modern medicine for many diseases. While clinical research in the last two decades has been predominantly concerned with bone marrow stem cells and their potential to reconstitute bone marrow, the human placenta is now increasingly becoming the focus of scientific interest.The placenta is the origin of young and healthy (i.e. not genetically or environmentally predisposed) cells derived from both the mother and the newborn. These mesenchymal or placental stem cells can then be used to produce individual stem cell preparations. Due to their special immunological properties (no expression of MHC class II molecules),placental stem cells are not recognized by the human immune system and can therefore be used without HLA typing and without concomitant immunosuppression. A rejection reaction (GvHD) is not observed at any time. Remarkable is their ability to secrete cell messengers (so-called cyto- and chemokines), a property that can then be used for the regeneration of other tissues or organ systems in medicine. The risk-free harvesting and storage of placental stem cells thus provides access to a novel therapeutic option that will have important implications for the cell therapy of serious diseases in the near future.
What are stromal cells?
Stromal cells – also known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) – are non-hematopoietic, multipotent, self-renewable cells that are capable of trilineage differentiation (mesoderm, ectoderm and endoderm). The pluripotency and immunomodulatory features of MSCs mean that they are an effective tool in cell therapy and tissue repair. Mesenchymal stem cells are easy to isolate and expandable in vitro for long periods of time without losing their characteristics.
Mesenchymal stromal cells
In the past several decades, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) have been the subject of extensive studies, representing now a magic bullet in regenerative medicine. Initially, MSC attracted much attention due to their low immunogenicity and high differentiation capability, generating other type of cells. However, currently, they are widely recognized for their immunomodulatory properties. Over the years, it has been possible to identify MSC in different tissues and, over time, it has been appreciated that different tissues harbor MSC with peculiar characteristics/properties. More specifically, the human placenta has become a consolidated source of MSC that possess unique properties. Placenta plays an essential role in supporting the development of the fetus and for this reason represents an important reservoir of transient progenitor and stem cells.
Here below, we summarized the two main strengths of the placenta-derived MSCs:
- Their primary mechanism of action is the paracrine effect; the placenta-derived MSCs secrete factors that signal the local cells to change their behavior and work to regenerate the damaged tissue. They are able to do that through:
- Verhinderung von Apoptose (Zelltod)
- Unterstützung von Wachstum und Differenzierung
- They are multipotent stem cells, for this characteristic, they can differentiate and give rise to mesodermal tissues like bone, cartilage, muscle,…
Why store placental stem cells
Another important feature of the placenta-derived MSCs, is their low immunogenicity! Immunogenicity is defined as the ability of cells to provoke an immune response and is generally considered to be an undesirable physiological response in cell therapy. However, due to their hypo immunogenicity and unique immunosuppressive properties, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are considered one of the most promising adult stem cell types for cell therapy. For this reason, these cells can be used for different individuals without the need for HLA compatibility. MSCs from the placenta and the newborn baby’s cord tissue can thus be stored and used by the whole family!
- QUANTITY: possible to store a higher quantity of MSC
- LOW RISK OF NON-REMOVAL
- TIMING: The process is prolonged up to 120 HOURS (5 DAYS), which ensures a high percentage of vitality of the cells themselves.
- STERILITY: microbial contamination minimized.
- PROTECTION: The cells are less affected by all stresses, such as temperature fluctuations or shocks and are therefore protected by reducing the aging phase itself.