CD133+ cells for the treatment of degenerative diseases: Update and perspectives

Mirella Meregalli, Andrea Farini, Marzia Belicchi, Yvan Torrente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stem cells are used in cell therapy for degenerative disorders. The main advantage of stem cells is that they can replenish their numbers for long periods through cell division and produce a progeny that can differentiate into multiple cell lineages with specific functions. CD133 is a member of a novel family of cell surface glycoproteins. The expression of human CD133 (AC133 antigen) was originally described in the hematopoietic CD34+ stem cells, but now it becomes more and more evident that CD133 is a marker of stem and progenitor cell populations originating from various tissues and organs. The main objective of this chapter is to describe the potential sources of CD133+ stem cells that harbor the ability to engraft, proliferate, and differentiate into functional cells. The characterization of such CD133 + stem cells unlocks new opportunities in the treatment of degenerative diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-243
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Degenerative disease
  • Heterogeneity
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Therapeutic application

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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