Concise review: Hematopoietic stem cell aging, life span, and transplantation

Gary van Zant, Ying Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Self-renewal and multilineage differentiation of stem cells are keys to the lifelong homeostatic maintenance of tissues and organs. Hematopoietic aging, characterized by immunosenescence, proinflammation, and anemia, is attributed to age-associated changes in the number and function of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and their microenvironmental niche. Genetic variants and factors regulating stem cell aging are correlatively or causatively associated with overall organismal aging and longevity. Translational use of HSCs for transplantation and gene therapy demands effective methods for stem cell expansion. Targeting the molecular pathways involved in HSC self-renewal, proliferation, and homing has led to enhanced expansion and engraftment of stem cells upon transplantation. HSC transplantation is less effective in elderly people, even though this is the demographic with the greatest need for this form of treatment. Thus, understanding the biological changes in the aging of stem cells as well as local and systematic environments will improve the efficacy of aged stem cells for regenerative medicine and ultimately facilitate improved health and life spans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-657
Number of pages7
JournalStem cells translational medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2012


  • Aging
  • Gene therapy
  • Hematopoietic stem cells
  • Stem cell transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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