Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) continuously replenish all blood cell lineages not only to maintain the normal rapid turnover of differentiated cells but also to respond to injury and stress. Cell-extrinsic mechanisms are critical determinants of the fine balance between HSC self-renewal and differentiation. The bone marrow microenvironment has emerged as a new area of intense study to identify which of its many components constitute the HSC niche and regulate HSC fate. While HSCs have been isolated, characterized and used in clinical practice for many years thanks to the development of very specific assays and technology (i.e., bone marrow transplants and fluorescence activated cell sorting), study of the HSC niche has evolved by combining experimental designs developed in different fields. In this unit we describe a collection of protocols spanning a wide range of techniques that can help every researcher tackling questions regarding the nature of the HSC niche.
Copyright 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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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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