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Science. 2014 Jun 13;344(6189):1242281. doi: 10.1126/science.1242281. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

Stem cell plasticity. Plasticity of epithelial stem cells in tissue regeneration.

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Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire en Biologie Humaine et Moléculaire (IRIBHM), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels B-1070, Belgium. Walloon Excellence in Life Sciences and Biotechnology (WELBIO), Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels B-1070, Belgium.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA.


Tissues rely upon stem cells for homeostasis and repair. Recent studies show that the fate and multilineage potential of epithelial stem cells can change depending on whether a stem cell exists within its resident niche and responds to normal tissue homeostasis, whether it is mobilized to repair a wound, or whether it is taken from its niche and challenged to de novo tissue morphogenesis after transplantation. In this Review, we discuss how different populations of naturally lineage-restricted stem cells and committed progenitors can display remarkable plasticity and reversibility and reacquire long-term self-renewing capacities and multilineage differentiation potential during physiological and regenerative conditions. We also discuss the implications of cellular plasticity for regenerative medicine and for cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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