Regulation of Stem Cell Aging by Metabolism and Epigenetics

Cell Metab. 2017 Sep 5;26(3):460-474. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.07.019. Epub 2017 Aug 17.


Stem cell aging and exhaustion are considered important drivers of organismal aging. Age-associated declines in stem cell function are characterized by metabolic and epigenetic changes. Understanding the mechanisms underlying these changes will likely reveal novel therapeutic targets for ameliorating age-associated phenotypes and for prolonging human healthspan. Recent studies have shown that metabolism plays an important role in regulating epigenetic modifications and that this regulation dramatically affects the aging process. This review focuses on current knowledge regarding the mechanisms of stem cell aging, and the links between cellular metabolism and epigenetic regulation. In addition, we discuss how these interactions sense and respond to environmental stress in order to maintain stem cell homeostasis, and how environmental stimuli regulate stem cell function. Additionally, we highlight recent advances in the development of therapeutic strategies to rejuvenate dysfunctional aged stem cells.

Keywords: aging; epigenetics; metabolism; rejuvenation; stem cell aging.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cellular Senescence / genetics*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Humans
  • Metabolome / genetics
  • Models, Biological
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*