In recent years, technical developments in mouse genetics and imaging equipment have substantially advanced our understanding of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and their niche. The availability of numerous Cre strains for targeting HSCs and microenvironmental cells provides extensive flexibility in experimental design, but it can also pose significant challenges due to strain-specific differences in cell specificity. Here we outline various genetic approaches for isolating, detecting, and ablating HSCs and niche components and provide a guide for advantages and caveats to consider. We also discuss opportunities and limitations presented by imaging technologies that allow investigation of HSC behavior in situ.
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