Spotlighting adult stem cells:advances, pitfalls,and challenges

Altshuler, Anna; Wickström, Sara A.; Shalom-Feuerstein, Ruby

The existence of stem cells (SCs) at the tip of the cellular differentiation hierarchy has fascinated the scientific community ever since their discovery in the early 1950s to 1960s. Despite the remarkable success of the SC theory and the development of SC-based treatments, fundamental features of SCs remain enigmatic. Recent advances in single-cell lineage tracing, live imaging, and genomic technologies have allowed capture of life histories and transcriptional signatures of individual cells, leaving SCs much less space to ‘hide’. Focusing on epithelial SCs and comparing them to other SCs, we discuss new paradigms of the SC niche, dynamics, and pathology, highlighting key open questions in SC biology that need to be resolved for harnessing SC potential in regenerative medicine.

Keywords: niche; quiescence; stem cell; stochastic model.

PMID: 36270939 DOI: 10.1016/j.tcb.2022.09.007