Stem Cell Niche Function, Definition & Structure

Regen Center Glossary

A Stem cell niche pertains to the particular tissue area where stem cells exist. The actual word ‘niche’ means the medium was “live” in vivo or in a lab or in-vitro microenvironment. [1] Recent journals and clinical studies on Mesenchymal cells from diverse systems have shown that stem cell function is controlled by extracellular cues from the niche and by intrinsic genetic programs within the cell polar body.[2]

Hepatic Stem Cell Niche – VIDEO

Other types of niches include bone marrow niches, intestine stem cell niche, brain cell niche or Haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niches.[3]


GSC or Germline stem cells are a type of niche that can generates,sperms, haploid gametes or oocytes. Oocytes are primarily responsible for transmitting of a humans genetic information from one generation to the next generation.

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Published Clinical Citations

  • [1] ^ Li, Linheng, and Ting Xie. 2005. Stem cell niche: structure and function. Annual review of cell and developmental biology.

  • [2] ^ Ovadia, Jeremy, and Qing Nie. 2013. Stem cell niche structure as an inherent cause of undulating epithelial morphologies. Biophysical journal, no. 1 (January 8). doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2012.11.3807.

  • [3] ^ Yang, Sheng-An, Wen-Der Wang, Ciao-Ting Chen, Chen-Yuan Tseng, Yi-Ning Chen, and Hwei-Jan Hsu. 2013. FOXO/Fringe is necessary for maintenance of the germline stem cell niche in response to insulin insufficiency. Developmental biology, no. 1 (July 27). doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.07.018.