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Aging of Stem and Progenitor Cells: Mechanisms, Impact on Therapeutic Potential, and Rejuvenation

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Majlinda LakoORCiD, Professor Lyle Armstrong, Professor Miodrag Stojkovic


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It was once suggested that adult or tissue-specific stem cells may be immortal; however, several recently published data suggest that their efficacy is limited by natural aging in common with most other somatic cell types. Decreased activity of stem cells in old age raises questions as to whether the age of the donor should be considered during stem cell transplantation and at what age the donor stem cells should be harvested to ensure the largest possible number of viable, functional, and non-altered stem cells. Although stem cells remain active into old age, changes in stem cells and their microenvironments inhibit their regenerative potential. The impact of aging on stem cell populations differs between tissues and depends on a number intrinsic and extrinsic factors, including systemic changes associated with immune system alterations. In this review, we describe key mechanisms of stem and progenitor cell aging and techniques that are currently used to identify signs of stem cells aging. Furthermore, we focus on the impact of aging on the capacity for proliferation, differentiation, and clinical use of stem cells. Finally, we detail the aging of embryonic, mesenchymal, and induced pluripotent stem cells, with particular emphasis on aging mechanisms and rejuvenation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nurkovic J, Volarevic V, Lako M, Armstrong L, Arsenijevic N, Stojkovic M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Rejuvenation Research

Year: 2016

Volume: 19

Issue: 1

Pages: 3-12

Print publication date: 19/02/2016

Online publication date: 09/06/2015

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

ISSN (print): 1549-1684

ISSN (electronic): 1557-8577

Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


DOI: 10.1089/rej.2015.1676


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Funder referenceFunder name
ON 175061Serbian Ministry of Science
ON175069Serbian Ministry of Science
ON175103Serbian Ministry of Science