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Haematopoiesis (from Ancient Greek: haima blood; poiesis to make) (or hematopoiesis in the United States; sometimes also haemopoiesis or hemopoiesis) is the formation of blood cellular components. All of the cellular components of the blood are derived from haematopoietic stem cells. The term multipotent refers to the ability of a cell to become several different types of cell (but not all types in a germ layer). Multipotent haematopoietic cells can become any type of cell in the blood system. The multipotent cells determine what type of cell to become, or differentiate, in a step-wise fashion.

Additional recommended knowledge




All blood cells are divided into three lineages.


As a stem cell matures it undergoes changes in gene expression (the extent by which a gene exerts influence on its target changes) that limit the cell types that it can become and move it closer to a specific cell type. These changes can often be tracked by monitoring the presence of proteins on the surface of the cell. Each successive change moves the cell closer to its final choice of cell type and further limits its potential cell type until it is fully differentiated. This process is usually presented as a dendrogram or decision tree, which starts with a stem cell at the single starting point, and branches for the major lineages that branch into intermediate semi-differentiated cell types, and eventually, to fully differentiated cells.


In developing embryos, blood formation occurs in aggregates of blood cells in the yolk sac, called blood islands. As development progresses, blood formation occurs in the spleen, liver and lymph nodes. When bone marrow develops, it eventually assumes the task of forming most of the blood cells for the entire organism. However, maturation, activation, and some proliferation of lymphoid cells occurs in secondary lymphoid organs (spleen, thymus, and lymph nodes). While most haematopoiesis in adults occurs in the marrow of the long bones such as the femurs, it also occurs in spongy bone like ribs and sternum). In some cases, the liver, thymus, and spleen may resume their haematopoietic function, if necessary (called extramedullary haematopoiesis).

In some vertebrates, haematopoiesis can occur wherever there is a loose stroma of connective tissue and slow blood supply, such as the gut, spleen, kidney or ovaries.

Haematopoietic growth factors

  Red and white blood cell production is regulated with great precision in healthy humans, and the production of granulocytes is rapidly increased during infection. The proliferation and self-renewal of these cells depend on stem cell factor (SCF). Glycoprotein growth factors regulate the proliferation and maturation of the cells that enter the blood from the marrow, and cause cells in one or more committed cell lines to proliferate and mature. Three more factors which stimulate the production of committed stem cells are called colony-stimulating factors (CSFs) and include granulocyte-macrophage CSF (GM-CSF), granulocyte CSF (G-CSF) and macrophage CSF (M-CSF). These stimulate a lot of granulocyte formation. They are active on either progenitor cells or end product cells.

The commitment of all hematopoietic cells to become a certain type of blood cell depends on external signals. Erythropoietin is required for a myeloid progenitor cell to become an erythrocyte. [1] On the other hand, thrombopoietin makes myeloid progenitor cells differentiate to megakaryocytes (thrombocyte-forming cells).[1] Examples of cytokines and the blood cells they give rise to, is shown in the picture to the right.


  1. ^ a b c Molecular cell biology. Lodish, Harvey F. 5. ed. : - New York : W. H. Freeman and Co., 2003, 973 s. b ill. ISBN 0-7167-4366-3
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Haematopoiesis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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