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Aging of hematopoietic stem cells

Gerald de Haan and Seka Lazare

Abstract

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) ensure a balanced production of all blood cells throughout life. As they age, HSCs gradually lose their self-renewal and regenerative potential, while the occurrence of cellular derailment strongly increases. Here we review our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms that contribute to HSC aging. We argue that most of the causes that underlie HSC aging result from cell-intrinsic pathways, and reflect on which aspects of the aging process may be reversible. As many hematological pathologies are strongly age-associated, strategies to intervene in aspects of the stem cell aging process may have significant clinical relevance.

  • Submitted June 7, 2017.
  • Accepted July 31, 2017.