About this Research Topic
Tissue stem cells are responsible for the formation and maintenance of organs, from the muscle to the brain. As such, their behaviour has to be tightly regulated, during development to adult life and ageing, including under a variety of internal or environmental challenges. Stem cells are found in a closely associated microenvironment, the niche. Niches represent the sum of cellular components, chemical signals and physical cues in close vicinity of the stem cells. They support stem cell function in many ways, including maintenance, survival, proliferation and sensing of extrinsic cues, either local (from the tissue itself) or systemic (from distant organs and the environment). As such they constitute a crucial player in the regulation of stem cell activity.
So far, most efforts have been focused on deciphering the bidirectional niche-stem cell signaling events. How niches actually assemble around the stem cell populations and acquire their specific architecture is an essential part of their function that so far has been less well characterized. Indeed, shape and function are inseparable, and the precise arrangement of niche components will affect the transfer of signals to and from stem cells. This fascinating topic of niche morphogenesis thus warrants further investigation to complete the picture of stem regulation by such compartments. This collection aims to provide the current picture on niche morphogenesis, from cellular mechanisms fulfilling this process to their impact on stem cell functions, with the goal to span stem cell models and organisms.
We welcome primarily Reviews, Mini Reviews, Opinion and Perspective articles covering advances in niche morphogenesis research from all organisms and all stem cell models with a focus on:
• Morphogenetic processes
• Roles of adhesion, biophysical cues, and topological organization
• Impact of correct morphogenesis, niche organization, cellular arrangement on stem cell functions
A full list of accepted article types can be found at this link - article types
Keywords: stem cell niches, morphogenesis, stem cells, niche organization
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