02 July 2024

Researchers have unveiled new discoveries about the ageing of haematopoietic stem cells.

A study at the Jackson Laboratory, Maine, USA, suggests the cells age differently in different individuals – and that two growth factors play a key role.

The research, undertaken with laboratory mice, has been published in Blood.

The researchers found that, in mice of identical age, haematopoietic stem cells aged at different rates. The ageing is closely connected to declining rates of two growth factors produced by mesenchymal stromal cells, Kitl and Igf1.

Study leader Professor Jennifer Trowbridge said: “The amount of the growth factors that are being produced directly correlates to the declining function of the stem cells – and we found markedly more variation in haematopoietic stem cells than in other cells in the bone marrow.

“This is really a snapshot of the ageing process at work, at the cellular level.”

Professor Trowbridge said that, in genetically diverse humans, variations in haematopoietic stem cell ageing are likely to be even greater than in carefully controlled animal models.


Young KA, Telpoukhovskaia MA, Hofmann J, Mistry JJ, Kokkaliaris K, Trowbridge JJ. (2024) “Variation in Mesenchymal KITL/SCF and IGF1 Expression at Middle Age Underlies Steady-State Hematopoietic Stem Cell Aging.” Blood, 10 April 2024, doi: 10.1182/blood.2024024275.

Link: https://ashpublications.org/blood/article/doi/10.1182/blood.2024024275/515693/Variation-in-Mesenchymal-KITL-SCF-and-IGF1

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