Stem-cell niche

A stem-cell niche is an area of a tissue that provides a specific microenvironment, in which stem cells are present in an undifferentiated and self-renewable state. Cells of the stem-cell niche interact with the stem cells to maintain them or promote their differentiation.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Stem cells are the functional units of tissue repair but do not act alone. Studies on flatworms now reveal specialized populations of differentiated cells that transiently emerge to coordinate whole-body regeneration. The stem-cell-centric view of repair processes must be revised to account for the importance of cell fate dynamics beyond the niche.

    • Stephanie J. Ellis
    •  & Elaine Fuchs
    Nature Cell Biology 23, 932-933
  • News & Views |

    Tissue-resident stem cells are capable of remarkable plasticity in areas of tissue damage, where inflammatory cells accumulate as part of the reparative response. A study in the lung now provides critical insight on how inflammatory signals alter cell-to-cell Notch signalling within the airway niche to drive stem cell plasticity.

    • Jaymin J. Kathiriya
    •  & Tien Peng
    Nature Cell Biology 23, 928-929
  • News & Views |

    Protein homeostasis preserves stem cell function, but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. A study reveals that protein quality control mediated by the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation pathway ensures proper expression of MPL, a key cell surface receptor that promotes haematopoietic stem cell function through niche interaction.

    • Kentson Lam
    •  & Robert A. J. Signer
    Nature Cell Biology 22, 1155-1157
  • News & Views |

    Tissue renewal requires proliferative progenitors with long-lasting potential. Designated stem cells within specialized niches are considered to be the primary mechanism for this requirement. Recent studies show that dispersed equipotent progenitors are sufficient to account for fast-paced cellular dynamics in skin oil glands and foetal gut epithelium.

    • Qing Nie
    •  & Maksim V. Plikus
    Nature Cell Biology 21, 921-923
  • News & Views |

    Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are maintained in vivo by intrinsic programs and extrinsic niche signals. Ex vivo expansion of HSCs is limited, owing to reduced stem cell maintenance factors. A study now shows that rejuvenated niche cells can be obtained by transcriptional rewiring of specific genes that maintain and expand HSCs ex vivo.

    • Aparna Venkatraman
    •  & Linheng Li
    Nature Cell Biology 21, 540-541