Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are responsible for sustaining life-long blood formation or hematopoiesis and are also used clinically in a form of bone marrow transplantation, a curative cellular therapy for a range of hematological diseases. HSCs are maintained throughout adult life by a complex biological niche or microenvironment, which is thought to be composed of a range of cellular, molecular, and metabolic components. The metabolic components of the HSC niche have become of increasing interest over the past few years. It is now well-recognized that metabolic activity is intimately linked to HSC function, and dysregulation of these metabolic pathways result in hematological pathologies such as leukemia. Here, we review the recent progress in this field including our current understanding of the “dietary” requirements of HSCs and how nutrition influences HSC activity. These recent findings have suggested promising new metabolic approaches to improve clinical HSC transplantation and leukemia therapies.
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