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Hematopoietic stem cell

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noun, plural: hematopoietic stem cells

A stem cell capable of giving rise to another hematopoietic stem cell and to any cell type of blood


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are multipotent stem cells and therefore are capable of self-renewal and of differentiating into closely related cells. The process by which it differentiates into any type of cellular element in blood is called hematopoiesis. In adult humans and other mammals, it occurs mainly in the bone marrow of cranium, vertebrae, sternum, and pelvis. In other vertebrates, the HSCs are found in gut, spleen, kidney, or where there is a loose stroma of connective tissue and slow blood supply.1

In hematopoiesis, the process starts at a hematopoietic stem cell (also called hemocytoblast) that gives rise to both the common myeloid progenitor cell and the common lymphoid progenitor cell. The common myeloid progenitor cell could follow a differentiation pathway that ultimately leads to the formation of megakaryocyte, erythrocyte, granulocyte, and monocyte. The common lymphoid progenitor cell, in turn, could go through the pathway resulting in the formation of a lymphocyte and a lymphoid dendritic cell.


  • HSC


  • haematopoietic stem cell


  • hemocytoblast

See also:

1 Zon, L. I. (1995). "Developmental biology of hematopoiesis". Blood. 86 (8): 2876–91.