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Nat Rev Immunol. 2011 Dec 23;12(1):49-60. doi: 10.1038/nri3132.

The bone marrow at the crossroads of blood and immunity.

Author information

Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.
Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.
Contributed equally


Progenitor cells that are the basis for all blood cell production share the bone marrow with more mature elements of the adaptive immune system. Specialized niches within the bone marrow guide and, at times, constrain the development of haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) and lineage-restricted immune progenitor cells. Specific niche components are organized into distinct domains to create a diversified landscape in which specialized cell differentiation or population expansion programmes proceed. Local cues that reflect the tissue and organismal state affect cellular interactions to alter the production of a range of cell types. Here, we review the organization of regulatory elements in the bone marrow and discuss how these elements provide a dynamic means for the host to modulate stem cell and adaptive immune cell responses to physiological challenges.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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