The stem cell continuum

Peter J. Quesenberry, Gerald A. Colvin, Mehrdad Abedi, Gerri Dooner, Mark Dooner, Jason Aliotta, Patrick Keaney, Luguang Luo, Delia Demers, Abigail Peterson, Bethany Foster, Deborah Greer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Hematopoietic stem cells have been felt to exist in a hierarchical structure with a relatively fixed phenotype at each stage of differentiation. Recent studies on the phenotype of the marrow hematopoietic stem cell indicate that it is not a fixed entity, but rather that it fluctuates and shows marked heterogeneity. Past studies have shown that stem cell engraftment characteristics, adhesion protein, and gene expression varies with the phase of the cell cycle. More recently, we demonstrated that progenitor numbers and differentiation potential also vary reversibly during one cytokine-induced cell cycle transit. We have also shown high levels of conversion of marrow cells to skeletal muscle and lung cells, indicating a different level of plasticity. Recently, we demonstrated that homing to lung and conversion to lung cells in a mouse transplant model also fluctuates reversibly with cell cycle transit. This could be considered plasticity squared. These data indicate that marrow stem cells are regulated on a continuum related to the cell cycle both as to hematopoietic and to nonhematopoietic differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell cycle
  • Hematopoietic system
  • Plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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