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The bone marrow niche for haematopoietic stem cells

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Abstract

Niches are local tissue microenvironments that maintain and regulate stem cells. Haematopoiesis provides a model for understanding mammalian stem cells and their niches, but the haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche remains incompletely defined and beset by competing models. Recent progress has been made in elucidating the location and cellular components of the HSC niche in the bone marrow. The niche is perivascular, created partly by mesenchymal stromal cells and endothelial cells and often, but not always, located near trabecular bone. Outstanding questions concern the cellular complexity of the niche, the role of the endosteum and functional heterogeneity among perivascular microenvironments.

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Figure 1: Bone marrow anatomy.
Figure 2: Haematopoietic stem cells and their niche cells surround sinusoids throughout the bone marrow.
Figure 3: Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and restricted haematopoietic progenitors occupy distinct niches in the bone marrow.

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Acknowledgements

S.J.M. was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (HL097760), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Mary McDermott Cook Chair in Pediatric Genetics. D.T.S. was supported by the National Institutes of Health (HL044851, HL096372, EB014703) and the Gerald and Darlene Jordan Chair in Medicine. We apologize to authors whose work could not be cited because of space limitations.

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Correspondence to Sean J. Morrison or David T. Scadden.

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Morrison, S., Scadden, D. The bone marrow niche for haematopoietic stem cells. Nature 505, 327–334 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature12984

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