Very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) represent a real challenge in stem cell biology: recent pros and cons in the midst of a lively debate

Ratajczak, M Z; Zuba-Surma, E; Wojakowski, W; Suszynska, M; Mierzejewska, K; Liu, R; Ratajczak, J; Shin, D M; Kucia, M
March 2014
Leukemia (08876924);Mar2014, Vol. 28 Issue 3, p473
Academic Journal
The concept that adult tissue, including bone marrow (BM), contains early-development cells with broader differentiation potential has again been recently challenged. In response, we would like to review the accumulated evidence from several independent laboratories that adult tissues, including BM, harbor a population of very rare stem cells that may cross germ layers in their differentiation potential. Thus, the BM stem cell compartment hierarchy needs to be revisited. These dormant, early-development cells that our group described as very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) most likely overlap with similar populations of stem cells that have been identified in adult tissues by other investigators as the result of various experimental strategies and have been given various names. As reported, murine VSELs have some pluripotent stem cell characteristics. Moreover, they display several epiblast/germline markers that suggest their embryonic origin and developmental deposition in adult BM. Moreover, at the molecular level, changes in expression of parentally imprinted genes (for example, Igf2-H19) and resistance to insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling (IIS) regulates their quiescent state in adult tissues. In several emergency situations related to organ damage, VSELs can be activated and mobilized into peripheral blood, and in appropriate animal models they contribute to tissue organ/regeneration. Interestingly, their number correlates with lifespan in mice, and they may also be involved in some malignancies. VSELs have been successfully isolated in several laboratories; however, some investigators experience problems with their isolation.


Related Articles

  • Construction of a Dual-Fluorescence Reporter System to Monitor the Dynamic Progression of Pluripotent Cell Differentiation. Sun, Wu-Sheng; Chun, Ju-Lan; Do, Jeong-Tae; Kim, Dong-Hwan; Ahn, Jin-Seop; Kim, Min-Kyu; Hwang, In-Sul; Kwon, Dae-Jin; Hwang, Seong-Soo; Lee, Jeong-Woong // Stem Cells International;11/24/2016, p1 

    Oct4 is a crucial germ line-specific transcription factor expressed in different pluripotent cells and downregulated in the process of differentiation. There are two conserved enhancers, called the distal enhancer (DE) and proximal enhancer (PE), in the 5′ upstream regulatory sequences...

  • Naive pluripotency is associated with global DNA hypomethylation. Leitch, Harry G; McEwen, Kirsten R; Turp, Aleksandra; Encheva, Vesela; Carroll, Tom; Grabole, Nils; Mansfield, William; Nashun, Buhe; Knezovich, Jaysen G; Smith, Austin; Surani, M Azim; Hajkova, Petra // Nature Structural & Molecular Biology;Mar2013, Vol. 20 Issue 3, p311 

    Naive pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and embryonic germ cells (EGCs) are derived from the preimplantation epiblast and primordial germ cells (PGCs), respectively. We investigated whether differences exist between ESCs and EGCs, in view of their distinct developmental origins. PGCs are...

  • Germ cell specification and pluripotency in mammals: a perspective from early embryogenesis. Irie, Naoko; Tang, Walfred; Azim Surani, M. // Reproductive Medicine & Biology;Oct2014, Vol. 13 Issue 4, p203 

    Germ cells are unique cell types that generate a totipotent zygote upon fertilization, giving rise to the next generation in mammals and many other multicellular organisms. How germ cells acquire this ability has been of considerable interest. In mammals, primordial germ cells (PGCs), the...

  • ERRATUM: Establishment of a primed pluripotent epiblast stem cell in FGF4-based conditions. Joo, Jin Young; Choi, Hyun Woo; Kim, Min Jung; Zaehres, Holm; Tapia, Natalia; Stehling, Martin; Jung, Koo Sung; Tae Do, Jeong; Schöler, Hans R. // Scientific Reports;2/13/2015, p8180 

    A correction to the article "Establishment of a primed pluripotent epiblast stem cell in FGF4-based conditions," by Jin Young Joo and others, published in a 2014 issue of the periodical is presented.

  • Identification of a time window for spontaneous establishment of pluripotency in mouse spermatogonial stem cells in vitro. Azizi H.; Conrad S.; Hajizadeh Moghaddam A.; Baharvand H.; Skutella T. // Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine;Apr2015 Supplement, p88 

    Introduction: Although testis-derived embryonic stem cell-like (ES-like) cells have been obtained in several studies, the time window for the shift to pluripotency is not clear yet. Materials and Methods: Here we describe, that only during a special time window (41 until 125 days) after...

  • Cell-intrinsic reprogramming capability: gain or loss of pluripotency in germ cells. Imamura, Masanori; Lin, Zachary Yu‐Ching; Okano, Hideyuki // Reproductive Medicine & Biology;Jan2013, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p1 

    In multicellular organisms, germ cells are an extremely specialized cell type with the vital function of transmitting genetic information across generations. In this respect, they are responsible for the perpetuity of species, and are separated from somatic lineages at each generation....

  • Alternative Routes to Induce Naïve Pluripotency in Human Embryonic Stem Cells. Duggal, Galbha; Warrier, Sharat; Ghimire, Sabitri; Broekaert, Dorien; Van der Jeught, Margot; Lierman, Sylvie; Deroo, Tom; Peelman, Luc; Van Soom, Ann; Cornelissen, Ria; Menten, Björn; Mestdagh, Pieter; Vandesompele, Jo; Roost, Matthias; Slieker, Roderick C.; Heijmans, Bastiaan T.; Deforce, Dieter; De Sutter, Petra; De Sousa Lopes, Susana Chuva; Heindryckx, Björn // Stem Cells (Wiley-Blackwell);Sep2015, Vol. 33 Issue 9, p2686 

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) closely resemble mouse epiblast stem cells exhibiting primed pluripotency unlike mouse ESCs (mESCs), which acquire a naïve pluripotent state. Efforts have been made to trigger naïve pluripotency in hESCs for subsequent unbiased lineage-specific...

  • Genetics of germ cell development. Lesch, Bluma J.; Page, David C. // Nature Reviews Genetics;Nov2012, Vol. 13 Issue 11, p781 

    The germ line represents a continuous cellular link between generations and between species, but the germ cells themselves develop in a specialized, organism-specific context. The model organisms Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster and the mouse display striking similarities, as well...

  • Differential expression of pluripotent and germ cell markers in ovarian surface epithelium according to age in female mice. Bo Sun Joo; In Kook Jung; Min Jung Park; Jong Kil Joo; Ki Hyung Kim; Kyu-Sup Lee // Reproductive Biology & Endocrinology;2014, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p1 

    Background Many studies have proposed that putative ovarian stem cells (OSCs) derived from the ovarian surface epithelium (OSE) layer of adult mammalian ovaries can produce oocytes. Few studies have reported that ovaries of aged mammalian females including mice and women possess rare premeiotic...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics