Energy Metabolism Plays a Critical Role in Stem Cell Maintenance and Differentiation

Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Feb 18;17(2):253. doi: 10.3390/ijms17020253.


Various stem cells gradually turned to be critical players in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine therapies. Current evidence has demonstrated that in addition to growth factors and the extracellular matrix, multiple metabolic pathways definitively provide important signals for stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. In this review, we mainly focus on a detailed overview of stem cell metabolism in vitro. In stem cell metabolic biology, the dynamic balance of each type of stem cell can vary according to the properties of each cell type, and they share some common points. Clearly defining the metabolic flux alterations in stem cells may help to shed light on stemness features and differentiation pathways that control the fate of stem cells.

Keywords: glycolysis; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation; regenerative medicine; stem cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Organ Specificity
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Tissue Engineering