21 May Natural Tissue Repair – Stem Cell Physiology
Understanding the human body’s self-renewal system
Many people do not realize that adult stem cells play a key role in the natural renewal of your body and are essential for the maintenance and repair of organs and tissue throughout your lifetime.
Your own adult stem cells have the power to maintain and repair tissue cells as needed – a vital, life-sustaining process that helps to maintain your health and well-being.
Each stem cell that releases from the bone marrow divides before it does so, leaving a “copy” of itself remaining in the bone marrow. This process maintains stem cells in the bone marrow for the life of an individual. If stem cells are circulating in the blood and are not all necessary at that point in time for repair or renewal, they simply return back to the bone marrow for later use.
This is a totally invisible process, which was unknown to us until the Nobel prize-winning invention of green fluorescent protein, derived from a jelly fish, being utilized to tag stem cells in the body in order to observe them becoming tissue and organ cells, fascinating!
A Historical Perspective on Adult Stem Cells
The study of adult stem cells began with the study of human blood. Franz Ernst Christian Newmann, anatomy researcher (1834—1918) investigated bone marrow using a microscope and observed cells that appeared similar to white blood cells (lymphocytes). He theorized that bone marrow was the organ that produced blood cells. He also speculated that pernicious anemia and leukemia arose as diseases of the marrow.
Julius Friedrich Cohnheim, MD (1839—1884) studied wound healing by injecting dye into animal’s veins and then noted dyed cells in wounds he created on the animals’ bodies. He reasoned that the new cells (both fibroblast like cells and inflammatory cells) came through the bloodstream and from the bone marrow.
Arthur Pappenheim (1870—1916), cellular biologist, traced the development of a red blood cell to a bone marrow cell and proposed the existence of a progenitor cell in the bone marrow.
Alexander AlexandrowitschMaximow (1874—1928) MD and cellular biologist, focused on blood physiology. In 1909, Maximow theorized the existence of a blood cell that could migrate through the blood to injured tissues—a hematopoietic stem cell (HSC). When this cell arrived at the injured site it could then differentiate into specialized cells, as needed. Maximow spoke in 1909 about the concept that would become the foundation of an understanding of the human body’s repair and regeneration physiology in the 21st century.
In 1958 in Yugoslavia, following a nuclear reactor leak, a man died because his blood cells were all killed by the radiation. The other five men received transfusions. The doctors assumed lifetime transfusions would be necessary but after a few transfusions the men’s body’s re-established their ability to maintain new blood without transfusions. This incident revived Maximow’s hypothesis that the blood contained stem cells that were responsible for the constant production of all new blood cells.
In 1962, researchers Goodman and Hodgson first used the term “blood stem cell” in their mouse studies.
With the use of radiation and chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants became one of the first stem cell transplant operations. This was painful and rejection was a possibility.
In the 1960s research began on an embryonic “stem cell”, the human egg cell. The egg cells have the ability to form into all the tissues of the human body. In 1998, successful growth of human embryonic stem cells in test tubes led to much scientific interest for using these cells to treat degenerative diseases. The promise of healing with embryonic stem cells has yet to be realized.
In 1984, Curt Civin, oncology & pediatrics professor, developed a monoclonal antibody that could mark stem cells, CD34. This made it possible to harvest the necessary stem cells directly from the blood without opening the bone marrow. The person’s own cells are usually used which makes the procedure much safer. Harvesting a cardiac patient’s stem cells from their blood before an operation makes recovery remarkably better if they can receive in injection (in the heart) of their own stem cells (BMSC).
In 2002, the first article was published theorizing adult stem cells as the natural renewal system of the body.
In 2005, the first patented and clinically-studied stem cell nutrition product is marketed in the United States.