About this Research Topic
The regular turning over process of cellular renewal in human and animals is tissue homeostasis. Homeostatic balance is critical for normal tissue functions and is disturbed during tissue injury. Recent advances have improved our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of tissue homeostasis. The role of tissue-specific stem cells in tissue homeostasis has been increasingly recognized. Upon injury, resident stem cells have an additional capacity to increase rates of cellular turnover, leading to the accelerated formation of new cells that are needed to repair underlying damage through regeneration. The failure of repairing due to genetic and epigenetic disturbance leads to the abnormal cell growth and tumorgenicity in organ failure diseases. Stem cell-based cell therapies thus withhold potentials for restoring organ functions and achieving tissue regeneration.
Cellular and molecular mechanisms of tissue homeostasis: Due to the difficulties to study stem cell fate in response to injury-induced demands in the specific tissue context, the role of tissue-specific stem cells in sustaining tissue homeostasis and participating in disease development (such as cancer) is not yet clear. Advanced cellular, genetic, and imaging technologies, such as human pluripotent stem cells, organoid culture, genome editing, single-cell RNA sequencing, in vivo cell tracking, and live imaging, have provided new insights into tissue homeostatic program.
Stem cells: Tissue-specific stem cells derived from pluripotency stem cells or obtained from primary tissue samples have been reported with most organs. The maintenance and expansion of those stem cells remains costly and labor-intense, which delays the translational application of those stem cells.
Functional maturation: By using the cocktails of growth factors, small molecules, and extracellular matrix, cells exhibiting mature features can be generated from pluripotent and multipotent stem cells or functional tissue-specific precursors, the full functional maturation of the derived cells remains unclear.
Stem cells grafting and immune activation post maturation: Stem cells, especially those from fetus are proved as low-immunogenetic. However, the immune response during the maturation after the engraftment is still an uncovered issue.
The aim of the current Research Topic is to cover recent, novel, basic, and translational research. Both original research articles and review articles are welcome. Preferred subtopics include but are not limited to:
• Mechanistic studies of the role of stem cells in tissue homeostasis and disease
• Functional maturation of tissue-specific stem cells in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo
• Cell fate determination post-transplanting or grafting
• Stem cells expansion and scaling-up using in vitro cell culture systems
• Stem cells lineage contribution during normal embryology and disease development
• Advanced technologies in stem cell fate tracking and in vivo imaging
• Therapeutic strategies related to tissue homeostasis
• Lineage plasticity and reprogramming
• Malfunctional tissue homeostasis and potential therapeutic approaches
Keywords: Lineage maturation, Stem cells fate, cell imaging
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