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Open AccessArticle

Hemmule: A Novel Structure with the Properties of the Stem Cell Niche

1
Department Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
2
School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
3
Department of Anatomy, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, PA 16509, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020539
Received: 6 December 2019 / Revised: 9 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 14 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
Stem cells are nurtured and regulated by a specialized microenvironment known as stem cell niche. While the functions of the niches are well defined, their structure and location remain unclear. We have identified, in rat bone marrow, the seat of hematopoietic stem cells—extensively vascularized node-like compartments that fit the requirements for stem cell niche and that we called hemmules. Hemmules are round or oval structures of about one millimeter in diameter that are surrounded by a fine capsule, have afferent and efferent vessels, are filled with the extracellular matrix and mesenchymal, hematopoietic, endothelial stem cells, and contain cells of the megakaryocyte family, which are known for homeostatic quiescence and contribution to the bone marrow environment. We propose that hemmules are the long sought hematopoietic stem cell niches and that they are prototypical of stem cell niches in other organs. View Full-Text
Keywords: vascular; node; mesenchymal; hematopoietic; endothelial; megakaryocyte; quiescence; bone marrow vascular; node; mesenchymal; hematopoietic; endothelial; megakaryocyte; quiescence; bone marrow
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Vodyanoy, V.; Pustovyy, O.; Globa, L.; Kulesza, R.J., Jr.; Sorokulova, I. Hemmule: A Novel Structure with the Properties of the Stem Cell Niche. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 539.

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