Osteogenic niche in the regulation of normal hematopoiesis and leukemogenesis

Phuong M Le, Michael Andreeff, Venkata Lokesh Battula
Haematologica 2018 October 18
The bone marrow microenvironment, also known as the bone marrow niche, is a complex network of cell types and acellular factors that supports normal hematopoiesis.. For many years, leukemia was believed to be caused by a series of genetic hits to hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, which transform them to preleukemic and eventually to leukemic cells. Recent discoveries suggest that genetic alterations in bone marrow niche cells, particularly in osteogenic cells, may also cause myeloid leukemia in mouse models. The osteogenic niche, which consists of osteoprogenitors, preosteoblasts, mature osteoblasts, osteocytes and osteoclasts, has been shown to play a critical role in the maintenance and expansion of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells as well as in their oncogenic transformation into leukemia stem/initiating cells. We have recently shown that acute myeloid leukemia cells induce osteogenic differentiation in mesenchymal stromal cells to gain a growth advantage. In this review, we discuss the role of the osteogenic niche in the maintenance of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells as well as in their transformation into leukemia cells. We also discuss the signaling pathways that regulate osteogenic niche-hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells or osteogenic niche-leukemic stem/initiating cells interactions in the bone marrow as well as novel approaches for therapeutically targeting these interactions.


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