Pluripotent Stem Cell Heterogeneity

  • Yohei Hayashi
  • Kiyoshi OhnumaEmail author
  • Miho K. Furue
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1123)


Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), including embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, show heterogeneity with respect to their pluripotency, self-renewal ability, and other traits. PSC heterogeneity may exist among cell lines, among cells within a line, and among temporal states of individual cells. Both genetic and epigenetic factors can cause heterogeneity among cell lines. Heterogeneity among cells within a cell line may arise during long-term culturing even when a PSC cell line is derived from a single cell. Moreover, the expression levels of genes and proteins in PSCs fluctuate continuously at a frequency ranging from a few hours to a few days. Such heterogeneity decreases the reproducibility of research. Thus, methods related to the detection, reduction, and control of heterogeneity in experiments involving human PSCs need to be developed. Further, the presupposition that PSCs are highly heterogeneous should be taken into account by all researchers not only when they plan their own studies but also when they review the studies of other researchers in this field.


Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) Human pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yohei Hayashi
    • 1
  • Kiyoshi Ohnuma
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Miho K. Furue
    • 4
  1. 1.iPS Cell Advanced Characterization and Development Team, Bioresource Research Center, RIKENIbarakiJapan
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringNagaoka University of TechnologyNiigataJapan
  3. 3.Department of Science of Technology InnovationNagaoka University of TechnologyNiigataJapan
  4. 4.Laboratory of Stem Cell CulturesNational institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and NutritionIbaraki-CityJapan

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