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Adult stem cells reside in a specialized microenvironment, the niche, which controls their behavior. As mammary stem cells, and consequently their niches, are still poorly defined, we look at better-characterized adult mammalian stem cell niches in the hematopoietic system and the skin. We attempt to define the mammary stem cell niche functionally, based on the widely used mammary fat pad reconstitution assay. We note that the concept of the niche needs to be extended from the specializeddoi:10.3233/bd-2008-29108 fatcat:tnirkntzezembkn3r6o6friukq