Deciphering Hematopoietic Stem Cells in Their Niches: A Critical Appraisal of Genetic Models, Lineage Tracing, and Imaging Strategies

Chacko Joseph, Julie M. Quach, Carl R. Walkley, Steven W. Lane, Cristina Lo Celso, Louise E. Purton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, technical developments in mouse genetics and imaging equipment have substantially advanced our understanding of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and their niche. The availability of numerous Cre strains for targeting HSCs and microenvironmental cells provides extensive flexibility in experimental design, but it can also pose significant challenges due to strain-specific differences in cell specificity. Here we outline various genetic approaches for isolating, detecting, and ablating HSCs and niche components and provide a guide for advantages and caveats to consider. We also discuss opportunities and limitations presented by imaging technologies that allow investigation of HSC behavior in situ. A guide to the various genetic approaches and imaging technologies used to study HSCs and niche components is presented here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-533
Number of pages14
JournalCell Stem Cell
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

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