Tracing epithelial stem cells during development, homeostasis, and repair

J Cell Biol. 2012 May 28;197(5):575-84. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201201041.


Epithelia ensure many critical functions of the body, including protection against the external environment, nutrition, respiration, and reproduction. Stem cells (SCs) located in the various epithelia ensure the homeostasis and repair of these tissues throughout the lifetime of the animal. Genetic lineage tracing in mice has allowed the labeling of SCs and their progeny. This technique has been instrumental in characterizing the origin and heterogeneity of epithelial SCs, their tissue location, and their differentiation potential under physiological conditions and during tissue regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Epithelial Cells* / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells* / metabolism
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Regeneration*
  • Stem Cells* / cytology
  • Stem Cells* / metabolism