Superoxide flashes, reactive oxygen species, and the mitochondrial permeability transition pore: potential implications for hematopoietic stem cell function

Curr Opin Hematol. 2011 Jul;18(4):208-13. doi: 10.1097/MOH.0b013e3283475ffe.


Purpose of review: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have an important function in blood cell homeostasis and hematopoietic diseases. Recent discoveries concerning how ROS are generated and regulated in mitochondria via the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) and the new phenomenon, superoxide flashes, and ROS-induced ROS release, have not been investigated in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, but likely have important implications for their regulation and survival. Here we relate our opinions about these potential implications.

Recent findings: The mPTP has been recently implicated in ROS generation via binding of Stat3 transcription factor to a central component of the pore.

Summary: The implications of this new information for hematopoiesis regulation and transplantation methodologies could prove to be important, especially as they relate to myeloid neoplasm oncogenesis and potentially new therapeutic targets. New details about ROS production suggest that techniques for bone marrow and umbilical cord blood harvest may benefit from means to downmodulate ROS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins / physiology
  • Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Superoxides / metabolism*


  • Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Superoxides