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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 4389802, 8 pages
Review Article

The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Relays Metabolic Signals to Promote Cellular Regeneration

Laboratorio de Investigación en Ciencias Ómicas y Biotecnología Aplicada, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Avenida Universitaria 1801, San Miguel, Lima 12, Peru

Received 28 January 2016; Revised 16 June 2016; Accepted 5 July 2016

Academic Editor: Andrzej Lange

Copyright © 2016 Fanny L. Casado. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


While sensing the cell environment, the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) interacts with different pathways involved in cellular homeostasis. This review summarizes evidence suggesting that cellular regeneration in the context of aging and diseases can be modulated by AHR signaling on stem cells. New insights connect orphaned observations into AHR interactions with critical signaling pathways such as WNT to propose a role of this ligand-activated transcription factor in the modulation of cellular regeneration by altering pathways that nurture cellular expansion such as changes in the metabolic efficiency rather than by directly altering cell cycling, proliferation, or cell death. Targeting the AHR to promote regeneration might prove to be a useful strategy to avoid unbalanced disruptions of homeostasis that may promote disease and also provide biological rationale for potential regenerative medicine approaches.