About this Research Topic
It is widely known that a hematopoietic “niche” exists within the bone marrow. This niche provides a space in which hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) may reside, nurtured and protected from the surrounding environment. As the quest to define the precise location of the hematopoietic niche unfolds, the next pressing problem will be to elucidate the precise mechanisms that localize and retain HSCs within their niche.
Accumulating evidence suggests that the location of the bone marrow hematopoietic niche is perivascular, with a possible contribution of the bone endosteal space. Supporting structures in those environments include cells (endothelial cells, perivascular mesenchymal stromal cells, megakaryocytes, sympathetic neurons and Schwann cells, etc.), bone and bone lining cells (osteoblast, osteoclast), as well as the extracellular matrix (comprising fibronectin, collagen, osteopontin, hyaluronan and tenascin). The major adhesion molecules that orchestrate the interactions with those structures are integrins (within the extracellular matrix), and cadherins (that govern cell-cell interactions). Other well-known adhesion molecules include Notch receptors, gap junction proteins or connexins, and CD44.
The goal of this Research Topic is to review the current state of knowledge, and to open new insights, regarding mechanisms of cell adhesion relevant to HSCs, and the effects of such adhesion on HSC function. We encourage submissions addressing questions such as:
(1) what molecular mechanisms are involved in HSC adhesion;
(2) whether, and by what mechanisms, adhesion may control HSC stemness, proliferation and differentiation;
(3) how adhesion mechanisms in HSC differ from more mature progenitors or terminally differentiated cells;
(4) what disturbances in adhesion are observed in disease states;
(5) whether we can manipulate stem cell function through manipulation of adhesion.
We also welcome review articles describing the current state of knowledge regarding those questions.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.