Niches that regulate stem cells and hematopoiesis in adult bone marrow

Stefano Comazzetto, Bo Shen, Sean J. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


In mammals, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) engage in hematopoiesis throughout adult life within the bone marrow, where they produce the mature cells necessary to maintain blood cell counts and immune function. In the bone marrow and spleen, HSCs are sustained in perivascular niches (microenvironments) associated with sinusoidal blood vessels—specialized veins found only in hematopoietic tissues. Endothelial cells and perivascular leptin receptor+ stromal cells produce the known factors required to maintain HSCs and many restricted progenitors in the bone marrow. Various other cells synthesize factors that maintain other restricted progenitors or modulate HSC or niche function. Recent studies identified new markers that resolve some of the heterogeneity among stromal cells and refine the localization of restricted progenitor niches. Other recent studies identified ways in which niches regulate HSC function and hematopoiesis beyond growth factors. We summarize the current understanding of hematopoietic niches, review recent progress, and identify important unresolved questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1848-1860
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental cell
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 12 2021


  • bone marrow
  • endothelial cell
  • hematopoietic stem cell
  • niche
  • restricted hematopoietic progenitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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