Stem cells can reside in a state of reversible growth arrest, or quiescence, for prolonged periods of time. Although quiescence has long been viewed as a dormant, low-activity state, increasing evidence suggests that quiescence represents states of poised potential and active restraint, as stem cells "idle" in anticipation of activation, proliferation, and differentiation. Improved understanding of quiescent stem cell dynamics is leading to novel approaches to enhance maintenance and repair of aged or diseased tissues. In this Review, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of stem cell quiescence and techniques enabling more refined analyses of quiescence in vivo.
Published by Elsevier Inc.