Cytokines regulating hematopoietic stem cell function

Chengcheng Zhang, Harvey F. Lodish

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Regulation of the multiple fates of hematopoietic stem cells - including quiescence, self-renewal, differentiation, apoptosis, and mobilization from the niche - requires the cooperative actions of several cytokines and other hormones that bind to receptors on these cells. In this review we discuss recent advances in the identification of novel hematopoietic stem cell supportive cytokines and the mechanisms by which they control hematopoietic stem cell fate decisions. Recent Findings: Several extrinsic factors that stimulate ex-vivo expansion of hematopoietic stem cells were recently identified by a number of experimental approaches, including forward genetic screening and transcriptional profiling of supportive stromal cells. Recent experiments in which multiple cytokine signaling pathways are activated or suppressed in hematopoietic stem cells reveal the complexity of signal transduction and cell-fate choice in hematopoietic stem cells in vivo and in vitro. Summary: The study of genetically modified mice and improvements in the in-vitro hematopoietic stem cell culture system will be powerful tools to elucidate the functions of cytokines that regulate hematopoietic stem cell function. These will further reveal the complex nature of the mechanisms by which extrinsic factors regulate signal transduction and cell-fate decisions of hematopoietic stem cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-311
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in hematology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Cytokines
  • Ex-vivo expansion
  • Growth factors
  • Hematopoietic stem cells
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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