The technological development of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has overcome many of the limitations of adult and embryonic stem cells. We have found that activation of innate immunity signaling is necessary for this process, as it facilitates epigenetic plasticity in cells by a process called transflammation. More recently, we have discovered that transflammation also facilitates the transdifferentiation of cells directly from one somatic cell type to another. This insight may lead to a promising therapeutic pathway that avoids reverting cells all the way back to pluripotency before achieving a cell type of interest. While there is much therapeutic promise to transflammation and transdifferentiation, there is also evidence that transdifferentiation plays a role in some pathological conditions, including atherosclerosis. Ultimately, better understanding of transflammation will facilitate the development of regenerative therapies.
- epigenetic plasticity
- induced pluripotent stem cells
- innate immunity
ASJC Scopus subject areas