Author(s): Huang X, Cho S, Spangrude GJ
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Abstract Adult stem cells hold great promise for future therapeutic applications. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are among the best-characterized adult stem cells. As such, these cells provide a conceptual framework for the study of adult stem cells from other organs. Here, we review the current knowledge of HSC generation during embryonic development and HSC maintenance in the bone marrow (BM) during adult life. Recent scientific progress has demonstrated that the development of HSCs involves many anatomical sites in the embryo, but the relative contribution of each of these sites to the adult HSC pool remains controversial. Specialized anatomical sites in the BM have been identified as stem cell niches, and these play essential roles in regulating the self-renewal and differentiation of HSCs through recently identified signaling pathways. Extracellular signaling from stem cell niches must integrate with the intracellular molecular machinery and/or genetic programs to regulate HSC fate choice. The exact cellular and/or molecular mechanisms defining stem cell niche and 'stemness' of HSC is largely unknown although substantial progress has been made recently. Hence, many questions remain to be answered even in this relatively well-defined model of stem cell biology.
This article was published in Cell Death Differ
and referenced in Journal of Leukemia