The New York Academy of Sciences
Advances in Adult Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
Posted May 29, 2019
Despite intense research following the first isolation of embryonic stem cells in 1981, few viable stem cell-based therapies have emerged in the last 30 years. More recently, researchers have made significant progress in uncovering how stem cell activation and differentiation are regulated by signals from the stem cell niche and modulated by intrinsic epigenetic changes. These studies have also revealed how these processes can go awry in aging and disease states, leading to potential therapeutic strategies to target endogenous stem cells or improve the efficacy of stem cell transplantation.
Learn more about recent breakthroughs in stem cell research and the implications for treating an array of diseases—including various cancers and age-related tissue dysfunction—in this summary of our March 14, 2019 symposium.
- Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) clones with pre-cancerous mutations out-compete healthy stem cells, leading to downstream progenitors that cause leukemia.
- HSC transplants promise to treat autoimmune disease by inducing permanent immune tolerance to subsequent tissue transplants.
- The level of quiescence, or how easily a stem cell can activate, is variable and changes in response to injury and during aging.
- Stem cells in aged Drosophila intestines show an aberrant increase in symmetric divisions mediated by the angle of the mitotic spindle, leading to tissue deterioration.
- Communication between lung epithelial progenitor cells and support cells via the Wnt receptor Lgr family is essential for proper lung development.