Send to

Choose Destination
Stem Cell Rev. 2007 Fall;3(3):201-11.

Hematopoietic stem cell aging: wrinkles in stem cell potential.

Author information

Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, N1030, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) continuously replenish the blood and immune systems. Their activity must be sustained throughout life to support optimal immune responses. It has been thought that stem cells may be somewhat protected from age because of their perpetual requirement to replenish the blood, however studies over the past 10 years have revealed dramatic changes in HSC function and phenotype with respect to age. When the number of HSC within murine bone marrow is measured, an increase in concentration and absolute number of HSC within the bone marrow is observed as the animal ages, paralleled with increased homogeneity of stem cell marker expression. Results from transplantation studies demonstrate that although there is a decline in hematopoietic output on a per-cell basis, the increase in number provides sufficient, yet abnormal, blood production throughout the lifespan of the animal. HSC may play a role in immunosenescence through cell-fate decisions leading to an overproduction of myeloid cells and an underproduction of lymphocytes. When examining gene expression of aged HSC, recent studies have highlighted several key factors contributing to increased inflammation, stress response and genomic instability. Here, we will review the general phenotype observed with aging of the hematopoietic system, focusing on the HSC, and compile recent expression profiling efforts that have examined HSC aging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center