The evolving view of the hematopoietic stem cell niche

Isabel Beerman, Tiago C Luis, Sofie Singbrant, Cristina Lo Celso, Simon Méndez-Ferrer
Experimental Hematology 2017, 50: 22-26
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside in specialized microenvironments known as niches. The niche is essential to support HSC function and to maintain a correct balance between self-renewal and differentiation. Recent advances in defining different mesenchymal and endothelial bone marrow cell populations, as well as hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, greatly enhanced our understanding of these niches and of the molecular mechanisms by which they regulate HSC function. In addition to the role in maintaining HSC homeostasis, the niche has also been implicated in the pathogenesis of blood disorders including hematological malignancies. Characterizing the extrinsic regulators and the cellular context in which the niches interact with HSCs will be crucial to define new strategies to enhance blood regeneration. Furthermore, a better understanding of the role of the niche in leukemia development will open new possibilities for the treatment of these disorders by using therapies aiming to target the leukemic niche specifically. To update on recent findings on this topic, the International Society for Experimental Hematology (ISEH) organized a webinar, presented by Prof. Sean J. Morrison and Dr. Simón Méndez-Ferrer and moderated by Dr. Cristina Lo Celso, entitled "The evolving view of the hematopoietic stem cell niche," which we summarize here.


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