Developmental and Stem Cell Biology in Health and Disease

Research into stem cells started in the 1960s with experiments on spleen cultures. Evans and Kaufman made a breakthrough in mouse embryo culturing and embryonic stem cell extraction in 1981, followed ...
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Behavior and Asymmetric Cell Divisions of Stem Cells

Pp. 82-105 (24)

Sameh Elshahawy, Ahmed R. N. Ibrahim, Salaheldin S. Soliman, Marwa E. Elgayyar and Ahmed El-Hashash


Stem cells are unique, rare cell types that exist within many various life forms; they have been identified in both the plant and the animal kingdoms. These cells possess two distinguishing characteristics: the capacity for self-renewal in order to preserve the stem cell pool, and pluripotency, in which they differentiate into specialized cells when particular signals are given [1]. Due to these defining qualities, stem cells have been found to be primordial players during development, tissue repair and regeneration after injury, and healthy homeostatic cell turnover. They are, therefore, a crucial driving force for fast-expanding fields of regenerative medicine and functional tissue engineering [2]. The substantial building blocks of life are embryonic stem cells (ESCs). During early embryogenesis, ESCs that have their origin in the developing blastocyst’s inner cell mass (ICM) contain the capacity for pluripotency. Thus, they have the ability to become any type of cell that is required to form an entire organism. Adult stem cells are another type of stem cells that are uncommon tissueresident cells; they are essential for the establishment, maintenance, and repair as well as regeneration of highly specialized tissues in multicellular organisms [3].


Asymmetrical cell division, Cell spindle, Cell polarity cell fate determinants, eya1, Notch signaling, Stem cells, Symmetrical cell division.


Developmental Biology, Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Program, Saban Research Institute, Children`s Hospital Los Angeles, 4661 Sunset Boulevard MS 35, Los Angeles, California 90027, USA.