Stem and progenitor cells: the premature desertion of rigorous definitions

Trends Neurosci. 2003 Mar;26(3):125-31. doi: 10.1016/S0166-2236(03)00031-6.


A current disturbing trend in stem cell biology is the abandonment of rigorous definitions of stem and progenitor cells in favor of more ambiguous, all-encompassing concepts. However, recent studies suggest that there are consistent, functional differences in the biology of these two cell types. Admittedly, it can be difficult to harmonize the in vivo and in vitro functional differences between stem and progenitor cells. Nonetheless, these distinctions between cell types should be emphasized rather than ignored, as they can be used to test specific hypotheses in neural stem cell biology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Neurobiology / trends*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Terminology as Topic*