Most of our research is centered on cells derived from umbilical cord tissue, specifically from the Wharton’s Jelly in umbilical cord. However, there are other products of afterbirth that are being increasingly recognized as potentially useful in regenerative medicine. This is the case with amnion, the membrane filled with amniotic fluid where babies develop – routinely discarded after birth. Amnion is rich in epithelial and mesenchymal cells. This 2019 review characterizes amnion and summarizes the current literature for amnion-derived cell therapy.
Amnion-derived cells as a reliable resource for next-generation regenerative medicine.
The placenta is composed of the amnion, chorionic plate, villous and smooth chorion, decidua basalis, and umbilical cord. The amnion is a readily obtainable source of a large number of cells and cell types, including epithelium, mesenchyme, and endothelium, and is thus an allogeneic resource for regenerative medicine. Endothelial cells are obtained from large arteries and veins in the amniotic membrane as well as the umbilical cord. The amnion-derived cells exhibit transdifferentiation capabilities, including chondrogenesis and cardiomyogenesis, by introduction of transcription factors, in addition to their original and potential phenotypes. The amnion is also a source for production of induced pluripotent stem cells (AM-iPSCs). The AM-iPSCs exhibit stable phenotypes, such as multipotency and immortality, and a unique gene expression pattern. Through the use of amnion-derived cells, as well as other placenta-derived cells, preclinical proof of concept has been achieved in a mouse model of muscular dystrophy.
PMID: 31272680 DOI: 10.1016/j.placenta.2019.06.381