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Keywords:

  • Adult hematopoietic stem cells;
  • Bone marrow;
  • Bone marrow stromal cells;
  • Hematopoiesis;
  • Hemopoietic stem cells;
  • Osteoblast;
  • Stem cell microenvironment interactions;
  • Endothelial cell

Abstract

Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) behavior is governed in large part by interactions of the blood system with the bone microenvironment. Increasing evidence demonstrates the profound role the local HSC microenvironment or niche plays in normal stem cell function, in therapeutic activation and in the setting of malignancy. A number of cellular and molecular components of the microenvironment have been identified thus far, several of which are likely to provide exciting therapeutic targets in the near future. Clinically effective strategies for niche manipulation, however, require careful study of the interaction of these niche components. Some of the key findings defining these regulatory interactions are explored in this concise review, with special emphasis on potential translational applications. STEM Cells 2013;31:1044–1050