Korean J Gastroenterol.  2011 Sep;58(3):125-132. 10.4166/kjg.2011.58.3.125.

Stem Cell Properties of Therapeutic Potential

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Digestive Disease Research Institute, Wonkwang University College of Medicine, Iksan, Korea. medsgs@wonkwang.ac.kr


Stem cell research is a innovative technology that focuses on using undifferentiated cells able to self-renew through the asymmetrical or symmetrical divisions. Three types of stem cells have been studied in laboratory including embryonic stem cell, adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent stem cells derived from the inner cell mass and it can give rise to any fetal or adult cell type. Adult stem cells are multipotent, have the ability to differentiate into a limited number of specialized cell types, and have been obtained from the bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, placenta and adipose tissue. Stem cell therapy is the most promising therapy for several degenerative and devastating diseases including digestive tract disease such as liver failure, inflammatory bowel disease, Celiac sprue, and pancreatitis. Further understanding of biological properties of stem cells will lead to safe and successful stem cell therapies.


Pluripotent stem cell; Multipotent; Digestive tract disease; Stem cell properties

MeSH Terms

Adult Stem Cells/cytology/metabolism/transplantation
Embryonic Stem Cells/cytology/metabolism/transplantation
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology/metabolism/transplantation
Stem Cells/*cytology/metabolism
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