Stefania Fulle, Lucia Centurione, Rosa Mancinelli, Silvia Sancilio, Francesco Antonio Manzoli and Roberta Di Pietro Pages 1694 - 1717 ( 24 )
Ageing has been defined as the process of deterioration of many body functions over the lifespan of an individual. In spite of the number of different theories about ageing, there is a general consensus in identifying ageing effects in a reduced capacity to regenerate injured tissues or organs and an increased propensity to infections and cancer. In recent years the stem cell theory of ageing has gained much attention. Adult stem cells residing in mammalian tissues are essential for tissue homeostasis and repair throughout adult life. With advancing age, the highly regulated molecular signalling necessary to ensure proper cellular, tissue, and organ homeostasis loses coordination and leads, as a consequence, to a compromised potential of regeneration and repair of damaged cells and tissues. Although a complete comprehension of the molecular mechanisms involved in stem cell ageing and apoptosis is far to be reached, recent studies are beginning to unravel the processes involved in stem cell ageing, particularly in adult skeletal muscle stem cells, namely satellite cells. Thus, the focus of this review is to analyse the relationship between stem cell ageing and apoptosis with a peculiar attention to human satellite cells as compared to haematopoietic stem cells. Undoubtedly, the knowledge of age-related changes of stem cells will help in understanding the ageing process itself and will provide novel therapeutic challenges for improved tissue regeneration.
Stem cells, ageing, apoptosis, self-renewal, satellite cells, haematopoietic stem cells, mutation accumulation, disposable, asymmetric, symmetric divisions
Dipartimento di Medicina e Scienze dell'Invecchiamento, Universita G. d'Annunzio Chieti-Pescara, Via dei Vestini, 31, 66100 Chieti (CH), Italy.