The microenvironment surrounding stem cells, their niche, is thought to provide the conditions necessary for maintaining the ability of stem cells to self-renew and differentiate into a variety of mature cell types. The characteristics of these niches provide valuable information regarding the factors that contribute to the characteristic traits of stem cell populations. Voskoboynik et al. have now extended the list of organisms with defined adult stem cell niches to include the golden star tunicate Botryllus schlosseri. They report that cells in the anterior ventral region within Botryllus’ pharynx can proliferate and migrate to developing areas, unlike other cells in the organism. This suggests that stem cell niches are highly conserved among species and illustrates the potential for this urochordate as a tractable model organism for defining the shared characteristics of adult stem cell niches.
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RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT| 21 November 2008
Stem cells: a niche in the sea
Online ISSN: 1754-8411
Print ISSN: 1754-8403
Dis Model Mech (2008) 1 (4-5): 184.
Stem cells: a niche in the sea. Dis Model Mech 21 November 2008; 1 (4-5): 184. doi:
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