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Volume 11, Pages 1770-1780
Review Article

Embryonic Regulation of the Mouse Hematopoietic Niche

1Division of Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Advanced Medical Initiatives, Department of Advanced Medical Initiatives, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan
2Department of Medicine and Biosystemic Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan
3Discipline of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia

Received 16 July 2011; Accepted 16 September 2011

Academic Editor: David Tannahill

Copyright © 2011 Daisuke Sugiyama et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) can differentiate into several types of hematopoietic cells (HCs) (such as erythrocytes, megakaryocytes, lymphocytes, neutrophils, or macrophages) and also undergo self-renewal to sustain hematopoiesis throughout an organism's lifetime. HSCs are currently used clinically as transplantation therapy in regenerative medicine and are typically obtained from healthy donors or cord blood. However, problems remain in HSC transplantation, such as shortage of cells, donor risks, rejection, and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Thus, increased understanding of HSC regulation should enable us to improve HSC therapy and develop novel regenerative medicine techniques. HSC regulation is governed by two types of activity: intrinsic regulation, programmed primarily by cell autonomous gene expression, and extrinsic factors, which originate from so-called “niche cells” surrounding HSCs. Here, we focus on the latter and discuss HSC regulation with special emphasis on the role played by niche cells.