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Transdifferentiation: why and how?

Authors

  • Macarena Perán,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Health Science, University of Jan, 23071 Jan, Spain
    2. Biopathology and Regenerative Medicine Institute IBIMER, 18100 Granada, Spain
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  • Juan Antonio Marchal,

    1. Biopathology and Regenerative Medicine Institute IBIMER, 18100 Granada, Spain
    2. Department of Human Anatomy and Embryology, University of Granada, 18012 Granada, Spain
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  • Fernando Rodríguez-Serrano,

    1. Biopathology and Regenerative Medicine Institute IBIMER, 18100 Granada, Spain
    2. Department of Human Anatomy and Embryology, University of Granada, 18012 Granada, Spain
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  • Pablo Álvarez,

    1. Department of Human Anatomy and Embryology, University of Granada, 18012 Granada, Spain
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  • Antonia Aránega

    1. Biopathology and Regenerative Medicine Institute IBIMER, 18100 Granada, Spain
    2. Department of Human Anatomy and Embryology, University of Granada, 18012 Granada, Spain
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To whom correspondence should be addressed (email mperan@ugr.es).

Abstract

Cell therapy is based on the replacement of damaged cells in order to restore injured tissues. The first consideration is that an abundant source of cells is needed; second, these cells should be immunologically compatible with the guest and third, there should be no real threat of these cells undergoing malignant transformation in the future. Given these requirements, already differentiated adult cells or adult stem cells obtained from the body of the patient appear to be the ideal candidates to meet all of these demands. The utilization of somatic cells also avoids numerous ethical and political drawbacks and concerns. Transdifferentiation is the phenomenon by which an adult differentiated cell switches to another differentiated cell. This paper reviews the importance of transdifferentiation, discussing the cells that are suitable for this process and the methods currently employed to induce the change in cell type.

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