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Cell. 2011 Jun 10;145(6):851-62. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2011.05.033.

Strategies for homeostatic stem cell self-renewal in adult tissues.

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Cavendish Laboratory, Department of Physics, J.J. Thomson Avenue, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0HE, United Kingdom.


In adult tissues, an exquisite balance exists between stem cell proliferation and the generation of differentiated offspring. Classically, it has been argued that this balance is obtained at the level of a single stem cell, which divides strictly into a new stem cell and a progenitor. However, recent evidence suggests that balance can also be achieved at the level of the stem cell population. Some stem cells might be lost due to differentiation or damage, whereas others divide symmetrically to fill this gap. Here, we consider the general strategies for stem cell self-renewal and review the evidence for stochastic stem cell fate in adult tissues across a range of tissue types and organisms.

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