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Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today. 2010 Dec;90(4):229-42. doi: 10.1002/bdrc.20194.

Establishment and regulation of the HSC niche: Roles of osteoblastic and vascular compartments.

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Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine; Houston, Texas, 77030, USA.


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) are multi-potent cells that function to generate a lifelong supply of all blood cell types. During mammalian embryogenesis, sites of hematopoiesis change over the course of gestation: from extraembryonic yolk sac and placenta, to embryonic aorta-gonad-mesonephros region, fetal liver, and finally fetal bond marrow where HSC reside postnatally. These tissues provide microenviroments for de novo HSC formation, as well as HSC maturation and expansion. Within adult bone marrow, HSC self-renewal and differentiation are thought to be regulated by two major cellular components within their so-called niche: osteoblasts and vascular endothelial cells. This review focuses on HSC generation within, and migration to, different tissues during development, and also provides a summary of major regulatory factors provided by osteoblasts and vascular endothelial cells within the adult bone marrow niche.

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