Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(10):2029-2036. doi:10.7150/ijbs.36362


Should we reconsider the apoptosis as a strategic player in tissue regeneration?

Bruna Codispoti1, Irina Makeeva2, Jamal Sied3, Caterina Benincasa1, Salvatore Scacco4#, Marco Tatullo1,2✉ #

1. Marrelli Health, Tecnologica Research Institute, Biomedical Section, Street E. Fermi, Crotone, Italy
2. Department of Therapeutic Dentistry, IM Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russia
3. Advanced Technology Dental Research Laboratory, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdul Aziz University, KSA and Director of CODE-M, Center of Dental Education and Medicine, Pakistan
4. Dept. of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences and Sense Organs, University of Bari, Italy
#These authors equally contributed to this article

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Codispoti B, Makeeva I, Sied J, Benincasa C, Scacco S, Tatullo M. Should we reconsider the apoptosis as a strategic player in tissue regeneration?. Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(10):2029-2036. doi:10.7150/ijbs.36362. Available from

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Apoptosis plays a central role in organs development and homeostasis. Impaired regulation of this process is often associated with the onset of several human diseases, such as developmental disorders and cancer. The last scientific investigations have discovered interesting connections between apoptosis, stem cells, tissue regeneration and cancer. The role of "programmed cell death" in stem cells and tissue engineering is extremely promising; in fact, it holds great potential for regenerative purposes. However, several questions still remain unsolved: do we really know all the main molecular actors able to switch ON/OFF the apoptosis? Is it possible to modulate these players, to obtain a predictable regeneration of tissues and organs? But primarily: should we reconsider the apoptosis as a strategic player in tissue regeneration? In this topical review, we have carefully examined the most recent discoveries about the role of apoptosis in stem cells and, specifically, in mesenchymal stem cells. The pivotal molecules involved in the activation and inhibition of the apoptotic pathways will be carefully described, with the aim to shed an overall light on the complex scenario of stem cell life and death, and on a novel strategy for tissue regeneration.

Keywords: Apoptosis, Regenerative Medicine, Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Cell Death