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Tissue Repair Brakes - A Review

The state of differentiation of a given cell is not carved in stone; cell identity can be modulated by inhibitory signals from the cellular environment. Therefore, cell identity maintenance represents an active process of inhibition of a natural trend to change, and not an intrinsic or passive state of differentiation. Now, researchers led by Pedro L. Herrera (University of Geneva, Switzerland) review the literature regarding brakes to changes of cell identity and thus to tissue regeneration as described in different experimental models. Cigliola et al. note how the modulation of these inhibitory signals, by helping specialized cells to foster regeneration could prove crucial for treating pathologies due to massive or inappropriate cell death. For more on this fascinating topic, see STEM CELLS now!