Purpose of review: Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) sit at the top of the hierarchy that meets the daily burden of blood production. HSC maintenance relies on extrinsic cues from the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment to balance stem cell self-renewal and cell fate decisions. In this brief review, we will highlight the studies and model systems that define the centralized role of BM vascular endothelium in modulating HSC activity in health and stress.
Recent findings: The BM microenvironment is composed of a diverse array of intimately associated vascular and perivascular cell types. Recent dynamic imaging studies, coupled with single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) and functional readouts, have advanced our understanding of the HSC-supportive cell types and their cooperative mechanisms that govern stem cell fate during homeostasis, regeneration, and aging. These findings have established complex and discrete vascular microenvironments within the BM that express overlapping and unique paracrine signals that modulate HSC fate.
Summary: Understanding the spatial and reciprocal HSC-niche interactions and the molecular mechanisms that govern HSC activity in the BM vascular microenvironment will be integral in developing therapies aimed at ameliorating hematological disease and supporting healthy hematopoietic output.
Keywords: Aging; HSC niche; HSC regeneration; Inflammaging; Inflammation; Vascular niche.
© The Author(s) 2021.