Regulation of hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal

Regulation of hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal.
Reya T. 2003
Recent Progress in Hormone Research, 58:283-95.  PubMed | PDF |


Every day, billions of new blood cells are produced in the body, each one derived from a hematopoietic stem cell (HSC). Because most mature blood stem cells have a limited life span, the ability of HSCs to perpetuate themselves through self-renewal and generate new blood cells for the lifetime of an organism is critical to sustaining life. A key problem in hematopoietic stem cell biology is how HSC self-renewal is regulated. Recent evidence suggests that signaling pathways classically involved in embryonic development–such as the Wnt signaling pathway–play an important role in regulating stem cell self-renewal. The Wnt signaling pathway has been shown to regulate stem cell fate choice in a variety of organs, including the skin, the nervous system, and the hematopoietic system. In the hematopoietic system, stimulation of hematopoietic progenitors and stem cells with soluble Wnt proteins or downstream activators of the Wnt signaling pathway leads to their expansion. Future studies focusing on the mechanism of action of the Wnt signaling pathway and its interaction with other pathways are needed to gain further insight into the regulation of stem cell self-renewal, not only in the hematopoietic system but also in a variety of other tissues.