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State of the Chromatin State

Quiescent stem cells have a permissive chromatin state, and as they age, epigenetic changes may accumulate and lead to functional changes, report researchers from Stanford University in Cell Reports. Thomas Rando and his colleagues examined the global epigenetic profiles of both quiescent and active mouse muscle satellite cells from young and old mice using ChIP-seq and gene expression microarray analysis.

By combining their findings, Rando and his team report that their results showed that the quiescent satellite cells generally have a few genes that are repressed, and as they age, the cells accumulate more repressed chromatin domains, which the investigators theorize may be linked to age-related functional decline,

"[N]ow that we know what kinds of changes occur as these cells age, we can ask which of these changes reverse themselves when an old cell goes back to becoming a young cell," Rando says, according to the site Stem Cells Freak.