Measuring the aging process in stem cells

Yi Liu, Gary Van Zant, Ying Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Stem cells persist in replenishing functional mature cells throughout life by self-renewal and multilineage differentiation. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are among the best-characterized and understood stem cells, and they are responsible for the life-long production of all lineages of blood cells. HSCs are a heterogeneous population containing lymphoid-biased, myeloid-biased, and balanced subsets. HSCs undergo age-associated phenotypic and functional changes, and the composition of the HSC pool alters with aging. HSCs and their lineage-biased subfractions can be identified and analyzed by flow cytometry based on cell surface makers. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) enables the isolation and purification of HSCs that greatly facilitates the mechanistic study of HSCs and their aging process at both cellular and molecular levels. The mouse model has been extensively used in HSC aging study. Bone marrow cells are isolated from young and old mice and stained with fluorescence-conjugated antibodies specific for differentiated and stem cells. HSCs are selected based on the negative expression of lineage markers and positive selection for several sets of stem cell markers. Lineage-biased HSCs can be further distinguished by the level of SLAM/CD150 expression and the extent of Hoechst efflux.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-32
Number of pages14
JournalMethods in Molecular Biology
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015.


  • Aging
  • Flow cytometry
  • Fluorescence-activated cell sorting
  • Hematopoietic stem cells
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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