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Stem cells are cells that have the capacity to self-renew by dividing and to develop into more mature, specialised cells. Stem cells can be unipotent, multipotent, pluripotent or totipotent, depending on the number of cell types to which they can give rise.
Recovery of the developing cerebellum after depletion of granule cells, the most plentiful neuron population, depends on adaptive reprogramming of neural progenitors to a new fate and a powerful cell–cell communication system that ensures re-establishment of the correct proportions of different cerebellar cell types and normal circuit formation.
Flores et al. show that hair follicle stem cells rely on the production of lactate via the LDHA enzyme to become activated. Inducing Ldha through Mpc1 inhibition or Myc activation successfully reactivates the hair cycle in quiescent follicles.
Schell et al. demonstrate that inactivation of the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier in mouse and fly intestinal stem cells (ISCs) locks the cell into a glycolytic metabolic program and promotes the expansion of the stem cell compartment.
Cell state transitions during embryonic development are associated with epigenetic changes that alter chromatin structure and gene expression. Interplay between epigenetic regulatory layers can be studied using genomic technologies and embryonic stem cell cultures that reflect in vivo cell states.
Regeneration of articular cartilage has been a long-standing challenge in the field of regenerative medicine. In the past 2 years, several studies have genetically identified the presence of stem cells in the surface of articular cartilage, but questions remain as to the healing properties of these cells.