International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-011-1001-x Pages: 17-25

Myelodysplastic syndromes: revisiting the role of the bone marrow microenvironment in disease pathogenesis

1. Erasmus University Medical Center, Department of Hematology and Erasmus Stem Cell Institute

Correspondence to:
Marc H. G. P. Raaijmakers
Tel: +31-10-7044723
Fax: +31-10-7044745



Myelodysplastic syndromes are a heterogeneous group of diseases characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis and the propensity to leukemic transformation. Their pathogenesis is complex and likely depends on interplay between aberrant hematopoietic cells and their microenvironment. How niche cells play a role in disease evolution is poorly defined, but the delineation of the hematopoietic stem cell niche and the ability to interrogate its role in hematopoietic disease in animal models have furthered our insights in recent years. The data support a view in which the microenvironment can play an active role in the evolution of myelodysplasia and myeloproliferative disorders, thus providing further rationale to explore therapeutic targeting of mesenchymal–hematopoietic interactions in these diseases.

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