Prenatal diagnosis: Edited by James F. SmithClinical applications of prenatal and postnatal therapy using stem cells retrieved from amniotic fluidShaw, Sheng Wen Sa,b,c; David, Anna Lb; De Coppi, PaoloaAuthor Information aSurgery Unit, Institute of Child Health, UK bPrenatal Cell and Gene Therapy Group, Institute for Women's Health, University College London, London, UK cDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan, Taiwan Correspondence to Paolo de Coppi, MD, PhD, Institute of Child Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK Tel: +44 20 7905 2641; fax: +44 20 7404 618; e-mail: email@example.com Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: April 2011 - Volume 23 - Issue 2 - p 109-116 doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e32834457b1 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review To review the potential of stem cells derived from amniotic fluid and applications in prenatal and postnatal therapy. Recent findings We have recently described that pluripotent stem cells can be isolated from amniotic fluid defined as amniotic fluid stem (AFS) cells by selection for expression of the membrane stem cell factor receptor c-Kit. AFS cells maintained for over 250 population doublings retained long telomeres and normal karyotype. Clonal human lines verified by retroviral marking were induced to differentiate into cell types representing each embryonic germ layer, including adipogenic, osteogenic, myogenic, endothelial, neuronal, and hepatic lineages. Rat AFS cells have been able to improve the repair of damaged smooth muscle in cryoinjury bladders. Furthermore, AFS cells could be differentiated toward cardiomyogenic lineages, when co-cultured with neonatal cardiomyocytes and have potential to generate hematopoietic lineages both in vitro and in vivo. These cells have been applied into fetal therapy, and widely used for tissue repair in animal models. Finally, we demonstrated a feasible way to do in-utero autologous AFS transplantation in sheep. Summary Stem cells derived from amniotic fluid are a relatively new source of cells that could have a therapeutic value in various diseases prenatally and/or postnatally. © 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.