Stem Cells and Calcium Signaling
Fernanda M.P. Tonelli, Anderson K. Santos, Dawidson A. Gomes, Saulo L. da Silva, Katia N. Gomes, Luiz O. Ladeira, Rodrigo R. Resende
The increasing interest in stem cell research is linked to the promise of developing treatments for many lifethreatening, debilitating diseases, and for cell replacement therapies. However, performing these therapeutic innovations with safety will only be possible when an accurate knowledge about the molecular signals that promote the desired cell fate is reached. Among these signals are transient changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration [Ca2+]i. Acting as an intracellular messenger, Ca2+ has a key role in cell signaling pathways in various differentiation stages of stem cells. The aim of this chapter is to present a broad overview of various moments in which Ca2+- mediated signaling is essential for the maintenance of stem cells and for promoting their development and differentiation, also focusing on their therapeutic potential.