Perlin JR, Sporrij A, Zon LI. 2017. Blood on the tracks: hematopoietic stem cell-endothelial cell interactions in homing and engraftment. Journal of molecular medicine (Berlin, Germany). 95(8):809-819. Pubmed: 28702683 DOI:10.1007/s00109-017-1559-8


Cells of the hematopoietic system undergo rapid turnover. Each day, humans require the production of about one hundred billion new blood cells for proper function. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are rare cells that reside in specialized niches and are required throughout life to produce specific progenitor cells that will replenish all blood lineages. There is, however, an incomplete understanding of the molecular and physical properties that regulate HSC migration, homing, engraftment, and maintenance in the niche. Endothelial cells (ECs) are intimately associated with HSCs throughout the life of the stem cell, from the specialized endothelial cells that give rise to HSCs, to the perivascular niche endothelial cells that regulate HSC homeostasis. Recent studies have dissected the unique molecular and physical properties of the endothelial cells in the HSC vascular niche and their role in HSC biology, which may be manipulated to enhance hematopoietic stem cell transplantation therapies.

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Photo of Len Zon

The Zon laboratory aims to dissect how assaults to the hematopoietic system cause severe diseases such as leukemias, lymphomas, and anemias. They investigate hematopoietic development and disease using chemical screens, genetic screens, and analysis of novel transgenic lines in zebrafish.

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