Charles Durand1, Thierry Jaffredo*,1 and Alexander Medvinsky2
1UPMC, CNRS UMR7622, Paris and 2University of Edinburgh, UK
Stem cell biology is one of the most rapidly developing and exciting fields in the Life Sciences. The biology of embryonic and adult stem cells is critically important for understanding development, tissue homeostasis, reprogramming and cancer. Stem cells are characterised by their capacity to self-renew and differentiate into one or several cell types and hold great promise for regenerative medicine. The purification and tissue localization of stem cells, as well as identification of intrinsic and extrinsic factors regulating their functions, are central topics in stem cell biology. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are one of the best studied models and represent a key paradigm for analysis of various stem cell types. The availability of antibodies recognizing surface markers has been instrumental for enrichment and localization of HSCs. In vivo and in vitro assays offer researchers the possibility to study hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells at the functional level. For several decades bone marrow and more recently cord blood HSCs have been used for treatment of patients with hematopoietic disorders such as leukemia.
developmental hematopoiesis, preface, HSC, stem cell, special issue