Articulating the “stem cell niche” paradigm through the lens of non-model aquatic invertebrates

P. Martinez, L. Ballarin, A. V. Ereskovsky, E. Gazave, B. Hobmayer, L. Manni, E. Rottinger, S. G. Sprecher, S. Tiozzo, A. Varela-Coelho, B. Rinkevich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Stem cells (SCs) in vertebrates typically reside in “stem cell niches” (SCNs), morphologically restricted tissue microenvironments that are important for SC survival and proliferation. SCNs are broadly defined by properties including physical location, but in contrast to vertebrates and other “model” organisms, aquatic invertebrate SCs do not have clearly documented niche outlines or properties. Life strategies such as regeneration or asexual reproduction may have conditioned the niche architectural variability in aquatic or marine animal groups. By both establishing the invertebrates SCNs as independent types, yet allowing inclusiveness among them, the comparative analysis will allow the future functional characterization of SCNs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalBMC Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Adult stem cell (ASCs)
  • Germline stem cells (GSCs)
  • Marine/aquatic organisms
  • Phyletic diversity
  • Self-renewal
  • Stem cell niche (SCN)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology
  • Physiology
  • Biotechnology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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