Stem Cells International

Heterogeneity, Self-renewal, and Differentiation of Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Publishing date
01 Nov 2011
Submission deadline
01 May 2011

Lead Editor

1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, USA

2Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA

3Terry Fox Laboratory, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1L3

Heterogeneity, Self-renewal, and Differentiation of Hematopoietic Stem Cells


Better understanding of how hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) balance self-renewal and differentiation is vital for their efficient ex vivo maintenance and expansion and their application in treatment of various diseases and regenerative medicine. During the last decade, tremendous advances have been made in identifying a complex network of genes, pathways, and epigenetic factors that influence self-renewal and differentiation of HSCs and characterizing the cellular and molecular components of niches which harbor HSCs.

The mounting number of studies is also reporting the phenotypic, functional, and molecular heterogeneity of HSCs, which is not only arising from the coexistence of different HSC subsets, but also from HSCs alternating between several interconvertible states. These metastable states are characterized by distinct and alternating differentiation and by transcriptome and epigenetic patterns. These observations are shifting our perception of HSCs from being a functionally uniform pool to a dynamic pool of alternating cell subsets. The heterogeneity and metastability could enable HSCs to alternate between self-renewing states and states in which HSCs are both self-renewing and differentiating.

Improving our understanding of the cellular, molecular, and epigenetic mechanisms that affect and regulate the metastability, self-renewal, and differentiation of HSCs will have a profound impact on experimental and clinical HSC research and the use of HSCs in regenerative medicine. In addition, the studies of the reactivation/dysregulation of self-renewal in leukemic cells will be vital for better understanding of the origin and maintenance of leukemia initiating cells and their eradication. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Phenotypic, functional, and molecular characterization of different HSC subsets
  • The self-renewal and differentiation properties of different HSC subsets
  • Molecular mechanisms enabling HSCs to balance self-renewal and differentiation
  • Mechanism associated with and/or regulating HSC metastability
  • Epigenetic and microRNA regulation of HSC self-renewal and differentiation
  • Reactivation/dysregulation of self-renewal in leukemic transformation
  • The role of BM niches in HSC heterogeneity, self-renewal, and differentiation
  • The impact of hypoxia on HSC state and functional potency

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal's Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:


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Stem Cells International
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