On the Origin of the Term “Stem Cell”

Institute for Regeneration Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
Cell stem cell (Impact Factor: 22.27). 07/2007; 1(1):35-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2007.05.013
Source: PubMed


Stem cells have fascinated both biologists and clinicians for over a century. Here, we discuss the origin of the term "stem cell," which can be traced back to the late 19th century. The term stem cell originated in the context of two major embryological questions of that time: the continuity of the germ-plasm and the origin of the hematopoietic system. Theodor Boveri and Valentin Häcker used the term stem cell to describe cells committed to give rise to the germline. In parallel, Artur Pappenheim, Alexander Maximow, Ernst Neumann, and others used it to describe a proposed progenitor of the blood system. The original meanings of the term stem cell, rather than being historical relics, continue to capture important aspects of the biology of stem cells as we see them today.

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    • "The term stem cell was proposed for scientific use by Russian histologist Alexander Maksimov in 1909. He was the first to suggest the existence of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) with the morphological appearance of a lymphocyte, capable of migrating throughout the blood to micro ecological niches that would allow them to proliferate and differentiate.[1] Tissue engineering as a scientific discipline has shown promising results in the field of dentistry also. "
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    ABSTRACT: Stem cells are primitive cells that can differentiate and regenerate organs in different parts of the body such as heart, bones, muscles and nervous system. This has been a field of great clinical interest with immense possibilities of using the stem cells in regeneration of human organ those are damaged due to disease, developmental defects and accident. The knowledge of stem cell technology is increasing quickly in all medical specialties and in dental field too. Stem cells of dental origin appears to hold the key to various cell-based therapies in regenerative medicine, but most avenues are in experimental stages and many procedures are undergoing standardization and validation. Long-term preservation of SHED cells or DPSC is becoming a popular consideration, similar to the banking of umbilical cord blood. Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) are the adult multipotent cells that reside in the cell rich zone of the dental pulp. The multipotent nature of these DPSCs may be utilized in both dental and medical applications. A systematic review of the literature was performed using various internet based search engines (PubMed, Medline Plus, Cochrane, Medknow, Ebsco, Science Direct, Hinari, WebMD, IndMed, Embase) using keywords like "dental pulp stem cells", "regeneration", "medical applications", "tissue engineering". DPSCs appears to be a promising innovation for the re-growth of tissues however, long term clinical studies need to be carried out that could establish some authentic guidelines in this perspective.
    03/2014; 20(1):1-8. DOI:10.4103/1117-6806.127092
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    • "Despite the apparently recent foundation of the field, its origin dates back to the second half of the 19th century, when the term “stem cell” appeared in the scientific research conducted by the German scientist Ernest Haeckel (1868). Thereafter, German zoologists Theodor Boveri and Valentin Häcker (1892) independently adapted this term to describe the developmental process of the sea urchin and nematode Ascaris [1,2], and the copepod [1,2], respectively. Later, at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Arthur Pappenheim (1896) and Ernst Neumann (1912) extended the use of the term to designate all precursor cells in the hematopoietic system [1,2]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Stem cells emerged as a concept during the second half of 19(th) century, first as a theoretical entity, but then became one of the most promising research fields in cell biology. This work describes the most important characteristics of adult stem cells, including the experimental criteria used to identify them, and discusses current knowledge that led to the proposal that stem cells existed in different parts of the eye, such as the retina, lens, conjunctiva, corneal stroma, Descemet's membrane, and the subject of this review: the corneal epithelium. Evidence includes results that support the presence of corneal epithelial stem cells at the limbus, as well as the major obstacles to isolating them as pure cell populations. Part of this review describes the variation in the basement membrane composition between the limbus and the central cornea, to show the importance of the corneal stem cell niche, its structure, and the participation of extracellular matrix (ECM) components in regulating corneal stem cell compartment. Results obtained by various laboratories suggest that the extracellular matrix plays a central role in regulating stem cell commitment, corneal differentiation, and participation in corneal wound healing, in addition to other environmental signals such as cytokines and growth factors. The niche could define cell division patterns in corneal stem cell populations, establishing whether stem cells divide asymmetrically or symmetrically. Characterization and understanding of the factors that regulate corneal epithelial stem cells should open up new paths for developing new therapies and strategies for accelerating and improving corneal wound healing.
    Molecular vision 07/2013; 19:1600-13. · 1.99 Impact Factor
    • "A stem cell is defined as a cell that has the ability to continuously divide to either replicate itself (self-renewing), or produce specialized cells than can differentiate into various other types of cells or tissues (multilineage differentiation).[6] The term “stem cell” was proposed by Russian histologist Alexander Maksimov in the year 1868.[789] They can be thought as building blocks of the body which form an indispensable step for regenerative medicine. "
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    ABSTRACT: Stem cell research has received considerable attention since the discovery that adult stem cells have the capacity to form many different tissue types. Stem cells are a booming field for the research and have been extensively studied in the field of medicine, as well as dentistry. Their application in oncology has been a boon to many of the patients. Dental stem cells have been novel approach to treat diseases like periodontitis, dental caries and many more. Their potential uses in dentistry have provided a new generation of treatments for dental diseases and stem cells have become the focus in dental research. This review highlights about the biology, sources and potential applications of stem cells in dentistry with emphasis on a dentist's role in enabling both medical and dental applications using stem cells from teeth.
    Dental research journal 03/2013; 10(2):149-54. DOI:10.4103/1735-3327.113321
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