X-Message-Number: 24845
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 13:13:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: the cause of stem cell aging theorized

Oncogene. 2004 Sep 20;23(43):7290-6
Stem cells, aging, and cancer: inevitabilities and outcomes.
  Given the unique abilities of a stem cell to self-renew, differentiate,
and proliferate, it is no wonder that they are critically important to an
organism during development and to maintain homeostasis. Likewise, when
something goes awry within a stem cell, it is likely to have far-reaching
effects, since stem cells persist throughout the lifetime of the
individual. Two significant biological phenomena that involve stem cells
are the inevitable process of aging and a major health issue whose
incidence increases with aging: cancer. In this review, we summarize
evidence and theories concerning these two stem cell processes. The
inability of stem cells to be passaged indefinitely in mice and the data
supporting regular replication of the quiescent stem cell pool are
discussed. Further, the current evidence indicating a stem cell origin of
acute myeloid leukemia, including examples from both experimental mouse
models and human clinical samples, is evaluated. Finally, we propose a
model in which aging of the stem cell population of the hematopoietic
system in particular can create conditions that are permissive to
leukemia development; in fact, we suggest that aging is a secondary
event in leukemogenesis.

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