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Curr Opin Hematol. 2002 Jul;9(4):268-73.

Plasticity and hematopoiesis: Circe's transforming potion?

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Molecular and Clinical Hematology Branch, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


It has long been believed that mammalian stem cells are irreversibly committed to the individual tissue in which they reside; however, several recent studies have challenged this assertion and suggest a remarkable plasticity of stem cells derived from various adult tissues. Hematopoietic stem cells have been central to this paradigm shift, and in this review, the authors discuss the recent advances in this rapidly growing field. Although several exciting findings in rodents have already led to clinical trials in humans, true stem cell plasticity has not rigorously been established in most, if not all, studies to date, and a number of issues remain unresolved. Large animal models should prove invaluable to the progress of the field.

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