The ageing haematopoietic stem cell compartment

Nat Rev Immunol. 2013 May;13(5):376-89. doi: 10.1038/nri3433. Epub 2013 Apr 15.


Stem cell ageing underlies the ageing of tissues, especially those with a high cellular turnover. There is growing evidence that the ageing of the immune system is initiated at the very top of the haematopoietic hierarchy and that the ageing of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) directly contributes to changes in the immune system, referred to as immunosenescence. In this Review, we summarize the phenotypes of ageing HSCs and discuss how the cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic mechanisms of HSC ageing might promote immunosenescence. Stem cell ageing has long been considered to be irreversible. However, recent findings indicate that several molecular pathways could be targeted to rejuvenate HSCs and thus to reverse some aspects of immunosenescence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cellular Senescence / genetics
  • Cellular Senescence / immunology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune System / cytology
  • Immune System / immunology*
  • Phenotype