, Volume 51, Issue 9–10, pp 914–926 | Cite as

The extracellular matrix of the hematopoietic microenvironment

  • G. Klein
Multi-author Reviews Extracellular Matrix in Animal Development


The bone marrow microenvironment plays an important role in promoting hematopoietic progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation and the controlled egress of these developing hematopoietic cells. The establishment of long-term bone marrow cultures, which are thought to mimic hematopoiesis in vitro, and various stromal cell lines has greatly facilitated the analysis of the functions of this microenvironment. Extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules of all three categories (collagens, proteoglycans and glycoproteins) have been identified as part of this microenvironment and have been shown to be involved in, different biological functions such as cell adhesion and anti-adhesion, binding and presentation of various cytokines and regulation of cell growth. It is suggested that these matrix molecules in combination with cytokines are crucial for compartmentalization of the bone marrow. Although many cell adhesion molecules have been characterized on the surface of hematopoietic progenitor cells, the nature of cellular receptors for the ECM components is less well defined. During leukemia, many immature blood cells are released from bone marrow, but it is not yet known whether these abnormalities in hematopoiesis are also caused by an altered microenvironment or altered composition of its extracellular matrix. The elucidation of the involvement of specific ECM-isoforms and as yet not characterized ECM components and their receptors in the bone marrow will certainly help towards a better understanding of these phenomena.

Key words

Cell-matrix interactions adhesion cytokines collagens proteoglycans tenascin laminin fibronectin cellular receptors 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Klein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine II, Section, for Transplantation Immunology and ImmunohematologyUniversity Medical ClinicTübingen(Germany)

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