A niche for axial stem cells - A cellular perspective in amniotes

Tatiana Solovieva, Valerie Wilson, Claudio D. Stern*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The head-tail axis in birds and mammals develops from a growth zone in the tail-end, which contains the node. This growth zone then forms the tailbud. Labelling experiments have shown that while many cells leave the node and tailbud to contribute to axial (notochord, floorplate) and paraxial (somite) structures, some cells remain resident in the node and tailbud. Could these cells be resident axial stem cells? If so, do the node and tailbud represent an instructive stem cell niche that specifies and maintains these stem cells? Serial transplantation and single cell labelling studies support the existence of self-renewing stem cells and heterotopic transplantations suggest that the node can instruct such self-renewing behaviour. However, only single cell manipulations can reveal whether self-renewing behaviour occurs at the level of a cell population (asymmetric or symmetric cell divisions) or at the level of single cells (asymmetric divisions only). We combine data on resident cells in the node and tailbud and review it in the context of axial development in chick and mouse, summarising our current understanding of axial stem cells and their niche and highlighting future directions of interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Early online date30 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


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