Stem cells have been proposed as a powerful tool in the treatment of several human diseases, both for their ability to represent a source of new cells to replace those lost due to tissue injuries or degenerative diseases, and for the ability of produce trophic molecules able to minimize damage and promote recovery in the injured tissue. Different cell types, such as embryonic, fetal or adult stem cells, human fetal tissues and genetically engineered cell lines, have been tested for their ability to replace damaged cells and to restore the tissue function after transplantation. Amniotic fluid -derived Stem cells (AFS) are considered a novel resource for cell transplantation therapy, due to their high renewal capacity, the “in vitro” expression of embryonic cell lineage markers, and the ability to differentiate in tissues derived from all the three embryonic layers. Moreover, AFS do not produce teratomas when transplanted into animals and are characterized by a low antigenicity, which could represent an advantage for cell transplantation or cell replacement therapy. The present review focuses on the biological features of AFS, and on their potential use in the treatment of pathological conditions such as ischemic brain injury and bone damages.
Keywords: Cell-based therapy, amniotic fluid, amniotic fluid-derived mesenchymal stem cells, Regenerative Therapy, pathological, immunosuppressant, autologous, allogenic cells, germinal layers, amniocentesis
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