Somatic stem cells have been obtained from solid organs and tissues, including the bone marrow, placenta, corneal stroma, periosteum, adipose tissue, dental pulp and skeletal muscle. These solid tissue-derived stem cells are often used for tissue repair, disease modelling and new drug development. In the past two decades, stem cells have also been identified in various body fluids, including urine, peripheral blood, umbilical cord blood, amniotic fluid, synovial fluid, breastmilk and menstrual blood.
These body fluid-derived stem cells (BFSCs) have stemness properties comparable to those of other adult stem cells and, similarly to tissue-derived stem cells, show cell surface markers, multi-differentiation potential and immunomodulatory effects. However, BFSCs are more easily accessible through non-invasive or minimally invasive approaches than solid tissue-derived stem cells and can be isolated without enzymatic tissue digestion. Additionally, BFSCs have shown good versatility in repairing genitourinary abnormalities in preclinical models through direct differentiation or paracrine mechanisms such as pro-angiogenic, anti-apoptotic, antifibrotic, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. However, optimization of protocols is needed to improve the efficacy and safety of BFSC therapy before therapeutic translation.