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Stem Cell Dormancy: Maintaining a Reserved Population

Stem Cells

  1. John M. Perry1,
  2. Xi C. He1,
  3. Ryohichi Sugimura1,
  4. Linheng Li1,2

Published Online: 10 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.201200020

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Perry, J. M., He, X. C., Sugimura, R. and Li, L. 2013. Stem Cell Dormancy: Maintaining a Reserved Population. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO, USA

  2. 2

    University of Kansas Medical Center, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Kansas City, KS, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 FEB 2013


Military strategy commonly relies on holding a reserve force. In order to respond quickly to unforeseen situations or weaknesses, this tactical reserve is not initially committed to the conflict; it may also be called on to exploit opportunities against an opponent. Recent evidence has revealed that stem cell populations similarly maintain a reserve population. Reserved stem cells remain in a dormant, quiescent state until, in response to stress and aging, they serve to replenish and maintain, respectively, the stem cell pool. Unfortunately, cancer may also be maintained by an analogous reserved population that can replenish a neoplasm, especially following cytotoxic chemotherapy. Understanding the biology of reserved stem cells has important implications for stem cell therapy and cancer treatment. In this chapter, stem cell dormancy and quiescence – and its implications for normal stem cell biology and tumorigenesis – will be reviewed.


  • Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC);
  • Long-term HSC;
  • Quiescence;
  • Dormancy;
  • Self-renewal;
  • Reserved stem cell;
  • Primed stem cell;
  • Active stem cell;
  • Niche;
  • Label-retaining cell;
  • Cell cycle