Detection and Identification of Tissue Stem Cells: Tracking an Elusive Prey

Blackmore, Daniel G. and Rietze, Rodney L. (2010). Detection and Identification of Tissue Stem Cells: Tracking an Elusive Prey. In Nadia Rosentha and Richard P. Harvey (Ed.), Heart Development and Regeneration (pp. 857-875) Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Inc.. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-381332-9.00041-4

Author Blackmore, Daniel G.
Rietze, Rodney L.
Title of chapter Detection and Identification of Tissue Stem Cells: Tracking an Elusive Prey
Title of book Heart Development and Regeneration
Place of Publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier Inc.
Publication Year 2010
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-12-381332-9.00041-4
Open Access Status
Year available 2010
ISBN 9780123813329
Editor Nadia Rosentha
Richard P. Harvey
Chapter number 13.1
Start page 857
End page 875
Total pages 19
Total chapters 14.4
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subjects 1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Abstract/Summary This chapter discusses the process of detection and identificatin of tissue stem cell. Unlike most cell types, stem cells are defined by virtue of their functional characteristics. Essentially, "a stem cell is as a stem cell does." This concept, while accurate, does little to help an unseasoned investigator determine whether they have identified a stem cell or not. Moreover, the use of a functional definition imposes a biological version of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, as in order to determine whether a stem cell has been isolated, one must manipulate it experimentally, which will almost certainly alter its properties. This degree of ambiguity makes the identification and characterization of tissue stem cells a nontrivial task, and has resulted in heated debates between research groups. For a cell to be considered a bona fide stem cell, it must demonstrate a significant proliferative capacity, maintain itself over an extended period of time, and be able to the generate a large number of differentiated progeny and regenerate the tissue from which it was derived. While the last property cannot be demonstrated in vitro, one can contend that faithful adherence to this definition is essential for insight into the biology of stem and progenitor cells, as this is the only means by which to differentiate these two populations. In regard to this, an enabling and robust readout of stem cell activity is absolutely essential. This has typically been achieved by employing an in vitro assay system (such as the neurosphere assay); although in vivo methodologies such as serial transplantation have also proven sufficient in the case of hematopoietic stem cell.
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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