[Fetal and umbilical blood cord stem cells: a room for the obstetrician and gynaecologist. Part two]

Gynecol Obstet Fertil. 2004 Nov;32(11):969-75. doi: 10.1016/j.gyobfe.2004.07.018.
[Article in French]


Stem cells are undifferentiated cells, with the ability to self renew and to differentiate into specialised cells. Besides embryonic stem cells, adult, fetal and umbilical cord blood (UB) stem cells are to be distinguished. These cells are multipotent. Embryonic germ cells (EG) that also are fetal stem cells have proven to be truly pluripotent, since they are able to give derivatives of the three primitive embryonic layers. EG cells have a normal karyotype, and exhibit remarkable long-term proliferative potential. Fetal stem cells and UB cells have already been used in cell therapy trials (e.g., Parkinson's disease, congenital immunodeficiencies and hemopathies). The applications in the field of reproductive biology will lead to a better understanding of genomic imprinting with EG cells. The obstetrician and gynaecologist could act a central part in the production and study of fetal stem cells, using tissues from aborted fetuses or collecting cord blood stem cells.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / cytology*
  • Fetus / cytology*
  • Genomic Imprinting
  • Gynecology*
  • Humans
  • Obstetrics*
  • Pregnancy
  • Stem Cells*