A system of check and balances in the blood
Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) give rise to blood and immune cells of the body, and are therefore essential for our survival. They are in a dormant state, but whenever new blood needs to be formed, such as after blood loss or chemotherapy, they are rapidly activated to compensate for the loss. After completing their mission, they need to go back to their dormant state. The group of Manuela Baccarini at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories, has now shown how intracellular signalling can safeguard this delicate balance between activation and dormancy. Their results are published in the prominent journal Cell Stem Cell.