Current Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 80–87 | Cite as

Bone Marrow Niche: Role of Different Cells in Bone Metastasis

  • Terhi J. Heino
  • Jorma A. Määttä
Molecular Biology of Bone Metastasis (H Taipaleenmäki, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Molecular Biology of Bone Metastasis


Purpose of Review

This report summarizes current knowledge of bone marrow hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche, focusing on the identification of niche cells and molecular mechanisms involved in HSC maintenance and bone metastasis.

Recent Findings

Novel imaging techniques are greatly improving our understanding of bone marrow niche and latest studies have revealed several complex multicellular regulatory mechanisms of niche function. Especially, the intriguing role of bone marrow macrophages and osteomacs is an emerging topic in the field. It appears that, e.g., macrophage polarization is important for communication with bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs). Bone marrow is also a favorable environment for disseminated tumor cells and recent data shows that various niche cell types, including endothelial cells and BMSCs, regulate the progression of bone metastasis.


Bone marrow niche represents a multicellular system with complex interactions. Emerging data is providing us with a deeper understanding of this fascinating tissue and its role in metastasis.


Bone marrow niche Hematopoietic stem cells Bone marrow stromal cells Myeloid cells Bone metastasis Disseminated tumor cells 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Terhi J. Heino and Jorma A. Määttä declare no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biomedicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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