The homeostasis of self-renewing tissues relies in part on stem cells. The proliferation and differentiation of stem cells vary with living conditions (temperature, diet, hormones, circadian rhythm, aging, stress, infection…). To study in a quantitative manner the influence of environmental and physiological perturbations on stem cells, we have begun to look at the fly testis, one of the best-characterized stem cell niches (see also our project on ‘Sex, Pheromones, Gamete Compatibility and Endosymbiots’).
Otherwise, in earlier work, we have also studied the role of Notch in the regulation of stem cell proliferation and differentiation in the adult fly gut. This work is now being pursued by Allison Bardin at the Institut Curie (Paris).
A. J. Bardin, C. N. Perdigoto, T. D. Southall, A. H. Brand and F. Schweisguth (2010) Transcriptional control of stem cell maintenance in the Drosophila intestine. Development, 137, 705-714
C. N. Perdigoto, F. Schweisguth and A. J. Bardin (2011) Distinct levels of Notch activity for commitment and terminal differentiation of stem cells in the adult fly intestine. Development, 138, 4585-4595