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Nat Rev Immunol. 2004 Nov;4(11):878-88.

Clinical strategies for expansion of haematopoietic stem cells.

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  • 1St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Department of Hematology/Oncology, Division of Experimental Hematology, 332 North Lauderdale, Memphis, Tennessee 38120, USA.


Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) give rise to all blood and immune cells and are used in clinical transplantation protocols to treat a wide variety of diseases. The ability to increase the number of HSCs either in vivo or in vitro would provide new treatment options, but the amplification of HSCs has been difficult to achieve. Recent insights into the mechanisms of HSC self-renewal now make the amplification of HSCs a plausible clinical goal. This article reviews the molecular mechanisms that control HSC numbers and discusses how these can be modulated to increase the number of HSCs. Clinical applications of HSC expansion are then discussed for their potential to address the current limitations of HSC transplantation.

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