Hematopoiesis in numbers

Trends Immunol. 2021 Dec;42(12):1100-1112. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2021.10.006. Epub 2021 Nov 3.


Hematopoiesis is a dynamic process in which stem and progenitor cells give rise to the ~1013 blood and immune cells distributed throughout the human body. We argue that a quantitative description of hematopoiesis can help consolidate existing data, identify knowledge gaps, and generate new hypotheses. Here, we review known numbers in murine and, where possible, human hematopoiesis, and consolidate murine numbers into a set of reference values. We present estimates of cell numbers, division and differentiation rates, cell size, and macromolecular composition for each hematopoietic cell type. We also propose guidelines to improve the reporting of measurements and highlight areas in which quantitative data are lacking. Overall, we show how quantitative approaches can be used to understand key properties of hematopoiesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Hematopoiesis*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells*
  • Humans
  • Mice