Attar EC, Scadden DT. 2004. Regulation of hematopoietic stem cell growth. Leukemia. 18(11):1760-8. Pubmed: 15457182


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) must balance self-renewal and differentiation to provide sufficient primitive cells to sustain hematopoiesis, while generating more mature cells with specialized capabilities. The enhanced self-renewal capacity of primitive HSCs enables their ability to sustain hematopoiesis throughout decades of life and their ability to repopulate a host when used therapeutically in bone marrow transplantation. However, hematopoietic cell perturbations resulting in unchecked self-renewal participate in leukemogenesis. While mechanisms governing self-renewal are still being uncovered, they are thought to bear relationship to the malignant process in a variety of tumor types and may therefore provide useful therapeutic targets in putative cancer stem cells. This review discusses molecular mechanisms recently defined to participate in HSC governance and highlights features of stem cell interactions with the microenvironment that may help guide therapies directed at HSCs.

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David Scadden’s laboratory is dedicated to discovering the principles governing blood cell production, with the ultimate goal of guiding the development of therapies for blood disorders and cancer.

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