Progenitor cells occur naturally in the body and play a particularly important role in repairing injuries to the heart, lungs, and vascular system. A progenitor cell shares some characteristics with an adult stem cell in that it can grow into one of many different cell types, but progenitor cells tend to develop into fewer varieties than stem cells do. Progenitor cells also do not self-renew as well as stem cells do. Current research involving progenitor cells includes efforts to use them to create heart valves, conductive heart tissue, and blood vessels.
About the Author:
After spending several years practicing medicine in India, Dr. Vivek Baliga moved to Leeds in the United Kingdom to pursue a Ph.D. in cardiovascular research in 2009. Dr. Baliga has since published several studies, including one on the relationship between circulation of progenitor cells in South Asian men and the availability of nitric oxide in their blood during exercise.