Developmental programs are kept alive during adulthood by stem cells: The aging aspect.

Lepperdinger G.

EXG 2012 Jul 20 (accepted MS)

Abstract

Stem cells are fundamental for life-long preservation of cellular somatic maintenance. Tissue-borne stem cells replenish worn-out critical elements. Provided they remain fit over lifetime, enduring stem cell activities avert the emergence of age-associated chronic degenerative diseases and pathologies. Although experimentally still unclear, it is assumed that stem cells reside in protected niches. Freshly isolated mesenchymal stem cells exhibit donor-specific aberrations, which cannot solely be ascribed to differences in genetic background. Besides inevitably accumulating intrinsic modifications, the systemic environment also impacts on basic properties of mesenchymal stem cells such as their inherent multi-lineage differentiation potential. Chronic systemic aberrations over time comprise unwholesome influences, in particular in terms of regeneration and repair when stem cells recapitulate distinct developmental programs. During or thereafter, stem cells can diversify either because of insufficiently silencing activated building cycles, or by acquiring epigenetic deviations.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.