STEM CELL part 45

Stem cell 1

 

What are the key questions about adult stem cells?

Many important questions about adult stem cells remain to be answered. They include:

  • How many kinds of adult stem cells exist, and in which tissues do they exist?
  • How do adult stem cells evolve during development and how are they maintained in the adult? Are they “leftover” embryonic stem cells, or do they arise in some other way?
  • Why do stem cells remain in an undifferentiated state when all the cells around them have differentiated? What are the characteristics of their “niche” that controls their behavior?
  • Do adult stem cells have the capacity to transdifferentiate, and is it possible to control this process to improve its reliability and efficiency?
  • If the beneficial effect of adult stem cell transplantation is a trophic effect, what are the mechanisms? Is donor cell-recipient cell contact required, secretion of factors by donor cells, or both?
  • What are the factors that control adult stem cell proliferation and differentiation?
  • What are the factors that stimulate stem cells to relocate to sites of injury or damage, and how can this process be enhanced for better healing?
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