Although the stem cells of various tissues remain in the quiescent state to maintain their undifferentiated state, they also undergo cell divisions as required, and if necessary, even a single stem cell is able to provide for lifelong tissue homeostasis. Stem cell populations are precisely controlled by the balance between their symmetric and asymmetric divisions, with their division patterns determined by whether the daughter cells involved retain their self-renewal capacities. Recent studies have reported that metabolic pathways and the distribution of mitochondria are regulators of the division balance of stem cells and that metabolic defects can shift division balance toward symmetric commitment, which leads to stem cell exhaustion. It has also been observed that in asymmetric division, old mitochondria, which are central metabolic organelles, are segregated to the daughter cell fated to cell differentiation, whereas in symmetric division, young and old mitochondria are equally distributed between both daughter cells. Thus, metabolism and mitochondrial biology play important roles in stem cell fate decisions. As these decisions directly affect tissue homeostasis, understanding their regulatory mechanisms in the context of cellular metabolism is critical.


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