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Abstract

Many organs respond to physiological challenges by changing tissue size or composition. Such changes may originate from tissue-specific stem cells and their supportive environment (niche). The endocrine system is a major effector and conveyor of physiological changes and as such could alter stem cell behavior in various ways. In this review, we examine how hormones affect stem cell biology in four different organs: the ovary, intestine, hematopoietic system, and mammary gland. Hormones control every stage of stem cell life, including establishment, expansion, maintenance, and differentiation. The effects can be cell autonomous or non–cell autonomous through the niche. Moreover, a single hormone can affect different stem cells in different ways or affect the same stem cell differently at various developmental times. The vast complexity and diversity of stem cell responses to hormonal cues allow hormones to coordinate the body's reaction to physiological challenges.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-cellbio-101512-122331
2013-10-06
2024-06-13
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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