Discussing new paradigms of adult stem cells

Anna Altshuler and Ruby Shalom-Feuerstein researchers from BRIGHTER project at Technion, Israel, publish a review article in the renowned journal Trends in Cell Biology, where they discuss open questions related to the adult stem cells, as their niche, dynamics, and pathology. The responses to these questions may have a crucial impact of the potential use of stem cells in regenerative medicine.

In the review article, entitled “Spotlighting adult stem cells: advances, pitfalls, and challenges”, authors focus on epithelial stem cells (SCs) and compare them to other SCs based on the discoveries made in the last years thanks to the advances in techniques like single-cell lineage tracing, live imaging, and genomics. They review the somatic SC paradigms of epithelial tissues, the significance of the new hypotheses, the similarities and key differences to other tissue SCs, and current challenges in the field.

Authors highlight that SCs are abundant in their niche, divide frequently, and that their differentiation is unpredictable. Beyond homeostatic regulation, another outstanding question concerns how the various SC types deal with tissue-specific challenges. They conclude the article stressing out that to see the benefits of SCs in the field of regenerative medicine it will be necessary to redirect research efforts towards human biology models to potentially allow reconstruction of functional tissues and genome editing of mutated SCs.

Reference article: Spotlighting adult stem cells: advances, pitfalls, and challenges. Anna Altshuler, Sara A. Wickström, Ruby Shalom-Feuerstein. Trends in Cell Biology, Month 2022, Vol. xx, No. xx. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tcb.2022.09.007