Inflammation as a regulator of hematopoietic stem cell function in disease, aging, and clonal selection

J Exp Med. 2021 Jul 5;218(7):e20201541. doi: 10.1084/jem.20201541. Epub 2021 Jun 15.


Inflammation is an evolutionarily selected defense response to infection or tissue damage that involves activation and consumption of immune cells in order to reestablish and maintain organismal integrity. In this process, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are themselves exposed to inflammatory cues and via proliferation and differentiation, replace mature immune cells in a demand-adapted fashion. Here, we review how major sources of systemic inflammation act on and subsequently shape HSC fate and function. We highlight how lifelong inflammatory exposure contributes to HSC inflamm-aging and selection of premalignant HSC clones. Finally, we explore emerging areas of interest and open questions remaining in the field.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Clone Cells / pathology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / pathology*