, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 603-608
Date: 13 Jul 2013

Stress cycles in stem cells/iPSCs development: implications for tissue repair

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Abstract

Stem cells have become a major topic, both publicly and scientifically, owing to their potential to cure diseases and repair damaged tissues. Particular attention has been given to the so-called “induced pluripotent stem cells” (iPSCs) in which somatic cells are induced by the expression of transcription factor encoding transgenes—a methodology first established by Takahashi and Yamanaka (Cell 126:663–676, 2006)—to acquire pluripotent state. This methodology has captured researchers’ imagination as a potential procedure to obtain patient-specific therapies while also solving both the problem of transplant rejection and the ethical concerns often raised regarding the use of embryonic stem cells in regenerative medicine. The study of the biology of stem cells/iPSCs, in recent years, has uncovered some fundamental weaknesses that undermine their potential use in transplantation therapies.