The Potential for Cord Tissue Stem Cells
Human umbilical cord tissue is an abundant source of a special stem cell group known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hUC-MSCs) are being studied in pre-clinical research to determine their potential application in the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes. A report, published in Stem Cell Review authored by Anzalone et al, illustrates recent advances in successfully differentiating hUC-MSCs into mature islet-like clusters that possessed insulin-producing ability in vitro (in the laboratory) and in vivo (in the living organism) in an animal model of diabetes.
The study’s researchers also speculate on how MSCs derived from human umbilical cord tissue may represent a more promising regenerative medicine tool as compared to other sources of MSCs. hUC-MSCs seem to be the preferential source of stem cells to convert into insulin-producing cells, because of the large potential donor pool, its rapid availability, no risk of discomfort for the donor, and low risk of rejection.23