In the human hematopoietic system, aging is associated with decreased bone marrow cellularity, decreased adaptive immune system function, and increased incidence of anemia and other hematological disorders and malignancies. Recent studies in mice suggest that changes within the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) population during aging contribute significantly to the manifestation of these age-associated hematopoietic pathologies. Though the mouse HSC population has been shown to change both quantitatively and functionally with age, changes in the human HSC and progenitor cell populations during aging have been incompletely characterized. To elucidate the properties of an aged human hematopoietic system that may predispose to age-associated hematopoietic dysfunction, we evaluated immunophenotypic HSC and other hematopoietic progenitor populations from healthy, hematologically normal young and elderly human bone marrow samples. We found that aged immunophenotypic human HSC increase in frequency, are less quiescent, and exhibit myeloid-biased differentiation potential compared with young HSC. Gene expression profiling revealed that aged immunophenotypic human HSC transcriptionally up-regulate genes associated with cell cycle, myeloid lineage specification, and myeloid malignancies. These age-associated alterations in the frequency, developmental potential, and gene expression profile of human HSC are similar to those changes observed in mouse HSC, suggesting that hematopoietic aging is an evolutionarily conserved process.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1116110108
View details for Web of Science ID 000298034800040
View details for PubMedID 22123971
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3250139