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International Journal of Physiology and Pathophysiology
SJR: 0.116

ISSN Imprimir: 2155-014X
ISSN On-line: 2155-0158

Archives: Volume 1, 2010 to Volume 9, 2018

International Journal of Physiology and Pathophysiology

DOI: 10.1615/IntJPhysPathophys.v1.i1.90
pages 77-94

Role of Hypoxia in Stem Cell Development and Functioning

Igor S. Nikolsky
institute of Genetic and Regenerative Medicine, Academy of Medical Sciences, Kiev; Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
Tatiana V. Serebrovska
Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology, Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences, Kiev


The response of stem cells (SC) to hypoxia is one of main mechanisms of an organism's adaptation to changing terms of external and internal environment. The purpose of this review is to describe the role of hypoxia in functioning of various stem cell types - embryonic, hematopoietic, mesenchymal and neural, paying special attention to the very limited data concerning intermittent hypoxia (IH) effects. All stem cells and their precursors exist in microenvironment named stem cell niches. The most crucial factor for their normal functioning is hypoxia, which contributes to maintain SC in quiescent state with necessary rate of self-renewal. The key element of these mechanisms is a complex of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors. An additional exogenous hypoxic impact leads to activation of SC system. Very scant information on IH effects on SC that was obtained generally in cell culture models, reveals that intermittent hypoxia at certain duration and intensity is a more potent trigger of transcription activation than constant hypoxia. In the future a method of IH training/treatment could be effectively used for correction of physiological changes and pathological disorders in an organism.

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