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EMBO J. 2013 Oct 2;32(19):2535-47. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2013.201. Epub 2013 Sep 10.

Haematopoietic stem cell niches: new insights inspire new questions.

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Department of Biomolecular Engineering, Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, USA.


Haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niches provide an environment essential for life-long HSC function. Intense investigation of HSC niches both feed off and drive technology development to increase our capability to assay functionally defined cells with high resolution. A major driving force behind the desire to understand the basic biology of HSC niches is the clear implications for clinical therapies. Here, with particular emphasis on cell type-specific deletion of SCL and CXCL12, we focus on unresolved issues on HSC niches, framed around some very recent advances and novel discoveries on the extrinsic regulation of HSC maintenance. We also provide ideas for possible paths forward, some of which are clearly within reach while others will require both novel tools and vision.

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