Riches in stem-cell niches

In this focus

In the world of stem-cell research, attention is increasingly focused on the microenvironments within an organism where stem cells reside - the stem-cell niches. There is now evidence that the molecular signals exchanged between stem cells and other cells within these niches are key factors in stem-cell control. Finding and identifying these signals has become a major thrust in stem-cell research.

In this web focus, Nature presents an archive consisting of research articles, News & Views and reviews of work in this burgeoning field. Three niche systems are explored: the spectacular fly gonad, the therapeutically important but inaccessible bone marrow, and the surprisingly adaptable neuronal niche. Produced with support from Abcam.

News Feature

Stem-cell niches: It's the ecology, stupid!

Powell K.

Nature 435, 268-270 (19 May 2005) doi:10.1038/435268a


Stem cells find their niche

Spradling A., Drummond-Barbosa D. & Kai T.

Nature 414, 98-104 (01 November 2001) doi:10.1038/35102160


Bone marrow niches


In vivo imaging of specialized bone marrow endothelial microdomains for tumour engraftment

Dorothy A. Sipkins, Xunbin Wei, Juwell W. Wu, Judith M. Runnels, Daniel Cote, Terry K. Means, Andrew D. Luster, David T. Scadden and Charles P. Lin

Nature 435, 969-973 (16 June 2005) doi:10.1038/nature03703


Identification of the haematopoietic stem cell niche and control of the niche size

Zhang J. et al.

Nature 425, 836-841 (23 October 2003) doi:10.1038/nature02041


Osteoblastic cells regulate the haematopoietic stem cell niche

Calvi L.M. et al.

Nature 425, 841-846 (23 October 2003) doi:10.1038/nature02040

News & Views

Stem cells: Interactive niches

Lemischka I.R. & Moore K.A.

Nature 425, 778-779 (23 October 2003) doi:10.1038/425778a


Neural stem cell niches


Cell fusion-independent differentiation of neural stem cells to the endothelial lineage

Wurmser A.E. et al.

Nature 430, 350-356 (15 July 2004) doi:10.1038/nature02604


Astroglia induce neurogenesis from adult neural stem cells

Song H., Stevens C.F., & Gage F.H.

Nature 417, 39-44 (02 May 2002) doi:10.1038/417039a


Drosophila germ cells


Differentiating germ cells can revert into functional stem cells in Drosophila melanogaster ovaries

Kai T. & Spradling A.

Nature 428, 564-569 (01 April 2004) doi:10.1038/nature02436


Hedgehog acts as a somatic stem cell factor in the Drosophila ovary

Zhang Y. & Kalderon D.

Nature 410, 599-604 (29 march 2001) doi:10.1038/35069099


Somatic support cells restrict germline stem cell self-renewal and promote differentiation

Kiger A.A., White-Cooper H. & Fuller M.T.

Nature 407, 750-754 (12 October 2000) doi:10.1038/35037606