Stem cells are undifferentiated multipotent precursor cells that are capable both of perpetuating themselves as stem cells (self-renewal) and of undergoing differentiation into one or more specialized types of cells. And these stem cells have been reported to reside within distinct anatomic locations termed "niches". The long-term goals of stem cell biology range from an understanding of cell-lineage determination and tissue organization to cellular therapeutics for degenerative diseases. Stem cells maintain tissue function throughout an organism's lifespan by replacing differentiated cells. To perform this function, stem cells provide a unique combination of multilineage developmental potential and the capacity to undergo self-renewing divisions. The loss of self-renewal capacity in stem cells underlies certain degenerative diseases and the aging process. This self-renewal regulation must balance the regenerative needs of tissues that persist throughout life. Recent evidence suggests lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) signaling pathway plays an important role in the regulation of a variety of stem cells. In this review, we summarize the evidence linking between LPA and stem cell regulation. The LPA-induced signaling pathway regulates the proliferation and survival of stem cells and progenitors, and thus are likely to play a role in the maintenance of stem cell population in the body. This lipid mediator regulatory system can be a novel potential therapeutics for stem cell maintenance.
Keywords: Cancer stem cells; Hematopoietic stem cells; Lysophosphatidic acid; Mesenchymal stem cells; Neural stem cells; Pluripotent stem cells; Stem cells.