Plasticity of adult stem cells

Cell. 2004 Mar 5;116(5):639-48. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(04)00208-9.


Recent years have seen much excitement over the possibility that adult mammalian stem cells may be capable of differentiating across tissue lineage boundaries, and as such may represent novel, accessible, and very versatile effectors of therapeutic tissue regeneration. Yet studies proposing such "plasticity" of adult somatic stem cells remain controversial, and in general, existing evidence suggests that in vivo such unexpected transformations are exceedingly rare and in some cases can be accounted for by equally unexpected alternative explanations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Fusion
  • Cell Lineage
  • Hematopoiesis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / physiology*