What defines the number and dynamics of the stem cells that generate and renew biological tissues? Recent results point to the interesting hypothesis that dynamics itself, far for being a consequence of individual cell properties, could be understood as an active player shaping phenomena as important as the emergence of the stem cell region in an organ. Although several molecular markers have been described to predict stem cell potential, I will propose a complementary approach that mathematically describes “stemness” as an emergent property arising from a stochastic dynamics of competition for space. From that competition one can predict the robust emergence of a region made of functional stem cells, as well as give simple predictions on lineage-survival probability. The results have been tested against data obtained from intravital live-imaging experiments in mammary gland development, kidney development, and from the self-renewal dynamics of the intestinal crypt to show that the proposed framework can predict the number of functional stem cells and lineage-survival probability.
Meeting ID: 973 4901 3150