The making of hematopoiesis: Developmental ancestry and environmental nurture

Geoffrey Brown, Rhodri Ceredig, Panagiotis Tsapogas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Evidence from studies of the behaviour of stem and progenitor cells and of the influence of cytokines on their fate determination, has recently led to a revised view of the process by which hematopoietic stem cells and their progeny give rise to the many different types of blood and immune cells. The new scenario abandons the classical view of a rigidly demarcated lineage tree and replaces it with a much more continuum-like view of the spectrum of fate options open to hematopoietic stem cells and their progeny. This is in contrast to previous lineage diagrams, which envisaged stem cells progressing stepwise through a series of fairly-precisely described intermediate progenitors in order to close down alternative developmental options. Instead, stem and progenitor cells retain some capacity to step sideways and adopt alternative, closely related, fates, even after they have “made a lineage choice.” The stem and progenitor cells are more inherently versatile than previously thought and perhaps sensitive to lineage guidance by environmental cues. Here we examine the evidence that supports these views and reconsider the meaning of cell lineages in the context of a continuum model of stem cell fate determination and environmental modulation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2122
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2018


  • blood and immune cells
  • cell lineage
  • cytokines
  • fate determination
  • hematopoiesis
  • stem cells


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