The Role of Cell Plasticity in Tissue Repair: Adaptive Cellular Reprogramming.


It is becoming clear that a radical change of cell identity of differentiated cells in vivo, triggered by injury or other adversity, provides an essential route to recovery for many different mammalian tissues. This process, which we term adaptive cellular reprogramming, promotes regeneration in one of two ways: by providing a transient class of repair cells or by directly replacing cells lost during tissue damage. Controlling adaptive changes in cell fate in vivo in order to promote the body's own cell therapy, particularly by pharmacology rather than genetics, is likely to become an increasingly active area of future work.