Bone Marrow Adipocytes: The Enigmatic Components of the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Niche
Bone marrow adipocytes (BMA) exert pleiotropic roles beyond mere lipid storage and filling of bone marrow (BM) empty spaces, and we are only now beginning to understand their regulatory traits and versatility. BMA arise from the differentiation of BM mesenchymal stromal cells, but they seem to be a heterogeneous population with distinct metabolisms, lipid compositions, secretory properties and functional responses, depending on their location in the BM. BMA also show remarkable differences among species and between genders, they progressively replace the hematopoietic BM throughout aging, and play roles in a range of pathological conditions such as obesity, diabetes and anorexia. They are a crucial component of the BM microenvironment that regulates hematopoiesis, through mechanisms largely unknown. Previously considered as negative regulators of hematopoietic stem cell function, recent data demonstrate their positive support for hematopoietic stem cells depending on the experimental approach. Here, we further discuss current knowledge on the role of BMA in hematological malignancies. Early hints suggest that BMA may provide a suitable metabolic niche for the malignant growth of leukemic stem cells, and protect them from chemotherapy. Future in vivo functional work and improved isolation methods will enable determining the true essence of this elusive BM hematopoietic stem cell niche component, and confirm their roles in a range of diseases. This promising field may open new pathways for efficient therapeutic strategies to restore hematopoiesis, targeting BMA.
Source at https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8050707.