Investigating the interaction between hematopoietic stem cells and their niche during embryonic development: Optimizing the isolation of fetal and newborn stem cells from liver, spleen, and bone marrow

Huimin Cao, Brenda Williams, Susan K. Nilsson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are maintained in a particular microenvironment termed a "niche." Within the niche, a number of critical molecules and supportive cell types have been identified to play key roles in modulating adult HSC quiescence, proliferation, differentiation, and reconstitution. However, unlike in the adult bone marrow (BM), the components of stem cell niches, as well as their interactions with fetal HSC during different stages of embryonic development, are poorly understood. During embryogenesis, hematopoietic development migrates through multiple organs, each with different cellular and molecular components and hence each with a potentially unique HSC niche. As a consequence, isolating fetal HSC from each organ at the time of hematopoietic colonization is fundamental for assessing and understanding both HSC function and their interactions with specific microenvironments. Herein, we describe methodologies for harvesting cells as well as the purification of stem and progenitors from fetal and newborn liver, spleen, and BM at various developmental stages following the expansion of hematopoiesis in the fetal liver at E14.5.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHematopoietic Stem Cell Protocols
EditorsKevin D Bunting, Cheng-Kui Qu
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978149391133
ISBN (Print)9781493911325
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)10643745


  • Bone marrow
  • Hematopoietic development
  • Hematopoietic stem cells
  • Liver
  • Spleen

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