Stem cells are undifferentiated cells with self-renewal property and varying differentiation
potential that allow the regeneration of tissue cells of an organism throughout adult life beginning
from embryonic development. Through the asymmetric cell divisions, each stem cell replicates itself
and produces an offspring identical with the mother cell, and a daughter cell that possesses the characteristics
of a progenitor cell and commits to a specific lineage to differentiate into tissue cells to maintain
homeostasis. To maintain a pool of stem cells to ensure tissue regeneration and homeostasis, it is
important to regulate the metabolic functioning of stem cells, progenitor cells and adult tissue stem
cells that will meet their internal and external needs. Upon fertilization, the zygote transforms metabolic
reprogramming while implantation, embryonic development, organogenesis processes and after
birth through adult life. Metabolism in stem cells is a concept that is relatively new to be enlightened.
There are no adequate and comprehensive in vitro studies on the comparative analysis of the effects of
one-carbon (1-C) metabolism on fetal and adult stem cells compared to embryonic and cancer stem
cells’ studies that have been reported recently. Since 1-C metabolism is linking parental environmental/
dietary factors and fetal development, investigating the epigenetic, genetic, metabolic and developmental
effects on adult period is necessary. Several mutations and abnormalities in 1-C metabolism
have been noted in disease changing from diabetes, cancer, pregnancy-related outcomes such as
pre-eclampsia, spontaneous abortion, placental abruption, premature delivery, and cardiovascular diseases.
In this review, the effects of 1-C metabolism, mainly the methionine and folate metabolism, in
stem cells that exist in different developmental stages will be discussed.