What is a stem cell niche? It’s the home of stem cells.
The stem cell niche is a fascinating environment. It has many constituents that impact stem cell behavior and even eventual stem cell transplant functions.
In today’s weekly reads, we’ll start with the niche as there have been several interesting papers on this topic.
The niche consists of other cells, growth factors, extracellular matrix, fluid, and even physical elements like oxygen tension and pressure. Together this home tells stem cells to stay stem cells. Alternatively, the niche can also play a role in differentiation with proper signaling, and depending on the spatial position of the stem cells. Of course, this blog is also named after the niche.
Before we jump into the niche research, check out our new 2023 hub of regenerative medicine & stem cell meetings.
The Stem Cell Niche
- Why Stem Cell Therapy Might Not Work for Older Patients, UCSF. If a patient’s target tissues and in particular their stem cell niche are not healthy then even transplants of new, happy cells make not work. They may just die once transplanted. Survivors are likely to have impaired function.
- Transcriptional reprogramming of skeletal muscle stem cells by the niche environment, Nat Comm.
- Dissection of gastric homeostasis in vivo facilitates permanent capture of isthmus-like stem cells in vitro, Nat Cell Bio. This pub also raises the question if even 2D cell culture conditions recapitulate the key elements of the in vivo stem cell niche? Of course, stem cell media alone seems able to do this in some cases like with ES cells but it’s not clear for many other cell types and more complex tissues.
- Mechanical compression creates a quiescent muscle stem cell niche, Comm Bio.