The biomedical world has drawn attention to tissue specific stem cells or adult stem cells because of their ability to produce all different cell types of an organ and as such may be useful for stem cell therapies. The hope is that these cells may restore and replenish damaged tissue and even form complete replacement of organs. For example, adult stem cells that give rise to salivary gland tissue could be used to treat patients suffering from xerostomia, a common side effect of head and neck radiotherapy, Sjögren’s syndrome, diabetes, old age and numerous medications. However, paramount information regarding the identity, localization, critical molecular signals maintaining adult salivary gland stem cells and methods for culturing these cells in a laboratory setting are largely missing. Therefore, the work presented in this dissertation contributes to and enhances the current knowledge regarding salivary gland stem cell identity and the core molecular pathways necessary for salivary gland regeneration. Moreover, we describe a development of culture methods of mouse and human adult salivary gland stem cells, which we apply to gain better understanding of salivary gland stem cell biology during tissue maintenance, regeneration and ageing. Thus, the data presented here highlight the promising therapeutic potential of salivary gland stem cells in regenerative medicine.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Place of Publication||[Groningen]|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|