Entropy, Ergodicity, and Stem Cell Multipotency

Sonya J. Ridden, Hannah H. Chang, Konstantinos C. Zygalakis, Ben D. Macarthur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Populations of mammalian stem cells commonly exhibit considerable cell-cell variability. However, the functional role of this diversity is unclear. Here, we analyze expression fluctuations of the stem cell surface marker Sca1 in mouse hematopoietic progenitor cells using a simple stochastic model and find that the observed dynamics naturally lie close to a critical state, thereby producing a diverse population that is able to respond rapidly to environmental changes. We propose an information-theoretic interpretation of these results that views cellular multipotency as an instance of maximum entropy statistical inference.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number20
Early online date9 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2015


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