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Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
The bone marrow microenvironment regulates hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) function and protects HSCs from exhaustion. Technological advances have expanded understanding of the microenvironment's structural and functional organization. Here, we describe three major HSC niche components: the endosteal zone, the vasculature, and hematopoietic progeny. Roles for the microenvironment in HSC mobilization and in malignancy are presented.