Stem Cells-Immune cell Interactions during Wound Repair
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Adult stem cells are responsible for the maintenance and regeneration of various tissues and appendages. As a group of long-lived cells, over their life cycle, a major challenge for these indispensable cells is the frequent exposure to waves of inflammation. Especially during wound healing, stem cells are mobilized to enter the injury site, where they are exposed to many inflammatory immune cells. While immune cells are indispensable for preventing infections, clearing dead cells, and driving pro-reparative programs, they also create a harsh inflammatory environment that can potentially harm the stem cells, impeding their ability to re-epithelialize the tissue and restore the barrier. We are exploring how epithelial stem cells sense and adapt to inflammation, how inflammation impacts tissue stem cells and how do stem cells achieve self-renewal and differentiation within an inflammatory environment. An important direction of Miao lab is to decode the crosstalk between normal tissue adult stem cell and various immune populations to achieve immune adaptation, with the central focus of understanding how epithelial tissue stem cells orchestrate wound immunity, in order to drive regeneration and adapte to inflammation. The information from this research is the key to understand tissue fitness, stress adaptation and disease tolerance.