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Analytical strategies for studying stem cell metabolism

Arnold, James M., Choi, William T., Sreekumar, Arun, Maletić-Savatić, Mirjana
Frontiers in biology 2015 v.10 no.2 pp. 141-153
diabetes, energy, metabolism, metabolomics, neurodegenerative diseases, stem cells
Owing to their capacity for self-renewal and pluripotency, stem cells possess untold potential for revolutionizing the field of regenerative medicine through the development of novel therapeutic strategies for treating cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Central to developing these strategies is improving our understanding of biological mechanisms responsible for governing stem cell fate and self-renewal. Increasing attention is being given to the significance of metabolism, through the production of energy and generation of small molecules, as a critical regulator of stem cell functioning. Rapid advances in the field of metabolomics now allow for in-depth profiling of stem cells both in vitro and in vivo, providing a systems perspective on key metabolic and molecular pathways which influence stem cell biology. Understanding the analytical platforms and techniques that are currently used to study stem cell metabolomics, as well as how new insights can be derived from this knowledge, will accelerate new research in the field and improve future efforts to expand our understanding of the interplay between metabolism and stem cell biology.