The Science of Stem Cells
January 2018, Wiley-Blackwell
Introduces all of the essential cell biology and developmental biology background for the study of stem cells
This book gives you all the important information you need to become a stem cell scientist. It covers the characterization of cells, genetic techniques for modifying cells and organisms, tissue culture technology, transplantation immunology, properties of pluripotent and tissue specific stem cells and, in particular, the relevant aspects of mammalian developmental biology. It dispels many misconceptions about stem cellsespecially that they can be miracle cells that can cure all ills. The book puts emphasis on stem cell behavior in its biological context and on how to study it. Throughout, the approach is simple, direct, and logical, and evidence is given to support conclusions.
Stem cell biology has huge potential for advancing therapies for many distressing and recalcitrant diseases, and its potential will be realized most quickly when as many people as possible have a good grounding in the science of stem cells.
- Content focused on the basic science underpinning stem cell biology
- Covers techniques of studying cell properties and cell lineage in vivo and in vitro
- Explains the basics of embryonic development and cell differentiation, as well as the essential cell biology processes of signaling, gene expression, and cell division
- Includes instructor resources such as further reading and figures for downloading
- Offers an online supplement summarizing current clinical applications of stem cells
Written by a prominent leader in the field, The Science of Stem Cells is an ideal course book for advanced undergraduates or graduate students studying stem cell biology, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, and other topics of science and biology.
1. What is a stem cell?
Different definitions for different purposes. Pluripotent stem cell; in vivo stem cell; in vitro clonogenic cell; transplantable cell; cell expressing certain markers; label retaining cell.
2. Early mouse and human development.
Gametogenesis, fertilization, cleavage, ICM-TE formation, epiblast-primitive endoderm, extraembryonic ectoderm, X-inactivation, implantation, placenta, sex determination. Specifics of human development.
3. Pluripotent stem cells.
Mouse embryonic stem cells, human embryonic stem cells, naive and primed states, induced pluripotent stem cells. Somatic cell nuclear transfer. Ethical issues surrounding embryonic stem cells.
4. Body plan formation and organogenesis.
Developmental commitment. Hierarchical nature of development. Major signalling systems (Wnt, FGF etc). Key genes characterising developmental states (Oct4, Sox2, Bra, Cdx2, p63, Hox). Development of CNS, epidermis, myogenesis, cardiogenesis, blood and blood vessels, intestine, pancreas. Do postnatal pluripotent stem cells exist?
5. Cell differentiation.
Organs, tissues and cell types. Histological classification. Lateral inhibition: Notch and bHLH factors. Neurogenesis, differentiation in epithelia. Transdifferentiation. Design of differentiation protocols for pluripotent stem cells.
6. Characterizing cells.
Sections and wholemounts, laser dissection, RNAseq, in situ hybridization, immunostaining, flow cytometry. The cell cycle. Intrinsic markers. DNA synthesis markers. Cell death markers.
7. Genetic modification and labelling of cell lineages.
Introducing genes to cells, homologous recombination in mice, CRISPR-Cas. Principles of clonal analysis; passive lineage labels, genetic labels. CreER system in mice.
8. Tissue culture and tissue engineering.
Culture media, gases, serum and growth factors, defined media, GMP cultivation, organ culture, suspension culture. Scaffolds, 3D cultures, 3D printing of matrices and cells. Recellularization of decellularized tissues and organs.
9. Stem cells in the body.
Epidermis, neural stem cells, muscle satellite cells, haematopoiesis, spermatogenesis, mesenchymal stem cells, intestinal epithelium. Symmetric and asymmetric division. Mechanisms of asymmetric division in C.elegans, Drosophila, mouse. Regeneration in planaria and the amphibian limb.
10. Cancer and cancer stem cells.
Multi-hit mutagenesis; clonal analysis of tumours; definition of cancer stem cells; implications for therapy.
Jonathan M.W. Slack is a developmental biologist and author of five books and over 200 scientific papers. He is an emeritus professor at the University of Bath, UK, as well as the University of Minnesota, USA, where he was Director of the Stem Cell Institute from 2007-2013.