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Multipotent glia-like stem cells mediate stress adaptation

Rubin de Celis, Maria F.; Garcia-Martin, Ruben; Wittig, Dierk; Valencia, Gabriela D.; Enikolopov, Grigori; Funk, Richard H.; Chavakis, Triantafyllos; Bornstein, Stefan R.; Androutsellis-Theotokis, Andreas; Ehrhart-Bornstein, Monika


Maria F. Rubin de Celis

Ruben Garcia-Martin

Dierk Wittig

Gabriela D. Valencia

Grigori Enikolopov

Richard H. Funk

Triantafyllos Chavakis

Stefan R. Bornstein

Andreas Androutsellis-Theotokis

Monika Ehrhart-Bornstein


The neural crest-derived adrenal medulla is closely related to the sympathetic nervous system; however, unlike neural tissue, it is characterized by high plasticity which suggests the involvement of stem cells. Here, we show that a defined pool of glia-like nestin–expressing progenitor cells in the adult adrenal medulla contributes to this plasticity. These glia-like cells have features of adrenomedullary sustentacular cells, are multipotent, and are able to differentiate into chromaffin cells and neurons. The adrenal is central to the body’s response to stress making its proper adaptation critical to maintaining homeostasis. Our results from stress experiments in vivo show the activation and differentiation of these progenitors into new chromaffin cells. In summary, we demonstrate the involvement of a new glia-like multipotent stem cell population in adrenal tissue adaptation. Our data also suggest the contribution of stem and progenitor cells in the adaptation of neuroendocrine tissue function in general.


Rubin de Celis, M. F., Garcia-Martin, R., Wittig, D., Valencia, G. D., Enikolopov, G., Funk, R. H., …Ehrhart-Bornstein, M. (2015). Multipotent glia-like stem cells mediate stress adaptation. STEM CELLS, 33(6),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 6, 2015
Online Publication Date Apr 21, 2015
Publication Date May 21, 2015
Deposit Date May 10, 2017
Print ISSN 1066-5099
Electronic ISSN 1549-4918
Publisher AlphaMed Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 33
Issue 6
Keywords Nestin; Adult stem cells; Sustentacular cells; Stress; Plasticity; Neural stem cell-like cells; Adrenal medulla;
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