Reprogramming and transdifferentiation - two key processes for regenerative medicine

Eur J Pharmacol. 2020 Sep 5:882:173202. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2020.173202. Epub 2020 Jun 18.


Regenerative medicine based on transplants obtained from donors or foetal and new-born mesenchymal stem cells, encounter important obstacles such as limited availability of organs, ethical issues and immune rejection. The growing demand for therapeutic methods for patients being treated after serious accidents, severe organ dysfunction and an increasing number of cancer surgeries, exceeds the possibilities of the therapies that are currently available. Reprogramming and transdifferentiation provide powerful bioengineering tools. Both procedures are based on the somatic differentiated cells, which are easily and unlimitedly available, like for example: fibroblasts. During the reprogramming procedure mature cells are converted into pluripotent cells - which are capable to differentiate into almost any kind of desired cells. Transdifferentiation directly converts differentiated cells of one type into another differentiated cells type. Both procedures allow to obtained patient's dedicated cells for therapeutic purpose in regenerative medicine. In combination with biomaterials, it is possible to obtain even whole anatomical structures. Those patient's dedicated structures may serve for them upon serious accidents with massive tissue damage but also upon cancer surgeries as a replacement of damaged organ. Detailed information about reprogramming and transdifferentiation procedures as well as the current state of the art are presented in our review.

Keywords: Metaplasia; Mogrify; Redifferentiation; Reprogramming; Transdifferentiation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transdifferentiation*
  • Cellular Reprogramming*
  • Humans
  • Regenerative Medicine*