Like cord blood, the human placenta is rich in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which can become any type of blood cell. But in addition to HSCs, the placenta is also rich in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). MSCs can differentiate into many connective tissue cell types, such as bone, skin, fat, cartilage, and muscle. Animal studies have also shown that they can also differentiate into pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin.
Although MSCs are not yet being used in medical treatments, they are currently the subject of almost 50 clinical trials worldwide. So much research is being done on MSCs because scientists think they have the potential to regenerate many organs. In the future they may also be used to treat many diseases and conditions, including heart disease, type 1 diabetes, lung cancer, and Parkinson’s disease.
The placenta is also rich in mesenchymal stem cells