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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Sep;8(9):703-13.

How stem cells age and why this makes us grow old.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, The Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7295, USA. nes@med.unc.edu

Abstract

Recent data suggest that we age, in part, because our self-renewing stem cells grow old as a result of heritable intrinsic events, such as DNA damage, as well as extrinsic forces, such as changes in their supporting niches. Mechanisms that suppress the development of cancer, such as senescence and apoptosis, which rely on telomere shortening and the activities of p53 and p16(INK4a), may also induce an unwanted consequence: a decline in the replicative function of certain stem-cell types with advancing age. This decreased regenerative capacity appears to contribute to some aspects of mammalian ageing, with new findings pointing to a 'stem-cell hypothesis' for human age-associated conditions such as frailty, atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes.

PMID:
17717515
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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