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2022, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (7): 1119-1124

Important role of glutathione in stemness and regulation of stem cells

Huang Chenwei, Fei Yankang, Zhu Mengmei, Li Penghao, Yu Bing   

  1. Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medicine, Naval Military Medical University (Second Military Medical University), Shanghai 200433, China

  • Received:2020-09-15 Revised:2020-09-17 Accepted:2020-11-19 Online:2022-03-08 Published:2021-10-29

  • Contact: Yu Bing, MD, Lecturer, Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medicine, Naval Military Medical University (Second Military Medical University), Shanghai 200433, China

  • About author:Huang Chenwei, Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medicine, Naval Military Medical University (Second Military Medical University), Shanghai 200433, China

  • Supported by:

    the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 31771511 (to YB); the Innovation Fund for College Students of Naval Military Medical University, No. FH2019012 (to ZMM), No. FH2019013 (to LPH)



Abstract: BACKGROUND: Stem cells possess the capacities of self-renewal and multiple differentiation. Glutathione, an important sulfhydryl compounds, not only participates in the active oxygen metabolism of stem cells, but also plays an important role in self-renewal, proliferation, aging, stemness maintenance and differentiation regulation of stem cells.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the important role of glutathione in stem cells.
METHODS: In April 2020, the first author searched the title/abstract with the English keywords of “glutathione or GSH, stem cell”, and searched any field with the Chinese keywords of “glutathione, stem cell”, and searched the related articles included in CNKI, VIP, Wanfang and PubMed databases from 2000 to 2020. A total of 358 Chinese articles and 405 English articles were retrieved. Finally, 86 eligible articles were enrolled for the analysis after deleting the repetitive and non-conforming articles.  

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: By reviewing the recent studies on glutathione and stem cells, we found that glutathione played an important role in maintaining stemness, regulating the differentiation of stem cells. In addition, effects of glutathione on cancer stem cells have been verified, which provides more evidence for the future treatment of cancer with reduced glutathione.

Key words:stem cells, glutathione, pluripotency, cell differentiation, cancer stem cells, reduced glutathione, aging, reactive oxygen species, review


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