Ways to promote Cell proliferation
The size of an organ or organism depends mainly on its total cell mass, which depends on both, the total number of cells and the size of cells. Cell number, in turn, depends on the amounts of cell division and cell death. Organ and body size are defined by three fundamental processes: cell growth, cell division and cell death. Each is independently regulated-both by intracellular programmes and by extracellular signalling molecules (1).
Factors promoting cell growth
The factors that promote organ or organism growth can be divided into three major classes: Mitogens, which stimulate cell division. Growth factors, which stimulate cell growth in terms of an increase in cell mass, by promoting the synthesis of proteins and other essential macromolecules. Lastly survival factors, which promote cell survival by supressing apoptosis-programmed cell death (1).
Stem cell proliferation
From time to time, science is tuned upside down by ground-breaking discoveries. In 2006, the Nobel prize winners Kazutoshi Takahashi and Shinya Yamanak discovered that skin cells could be reprogrammed and become induced pluripotent stem cells. This opened a window of opportunities for a whole new era of research. Somatic (pluripotent) stem cells are defined as undifferentiated cells that occur throughout the body, they divide to replenish dying cells and regenerate damaged tissue (2).
Induced pluripotent stem cells
Induced pluripotent stem cells can be genetically engineered and implanted in a host. When compared to embryonic stem cell transplants, the chance of the body rejecting iPSCs is significantly lowered as they have the same genetic composition, and therefore do not elicit the immune response in the recipient. Research shows that stem cells thrive in certain environments and replicate senescence occurs when the environment is not favourable (2).
1. Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al. New York: Extracellular Control of Cell division, Cell growth and Apoptosis, Molecular biology of The cell, 4th edition.
2. Ways to promote stem cell proliferation, Biotics Research (Blog)