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Prostacyclin Protects Stressed-out HSCs

In a recent STEM CELLS article led by Joshua Tay and Ingrid G Winkler (University of Queensland, Woolloongabba, QLD, Australia), the authors report their discovery of prostacyclin as a novel hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) regulator enriched in endosteal bone marrow niches. Ex vivo and in vivo treatment with clinical prostacyclin analogs enhanced HSC reconstitution potential and protected HSC from stress-mediated exhaustion. These encouraging findings open new therapeutic avenues to improve HSC engraftment after autologous transplantations by short ex vivo pulse treatment with prostacyclin analogs and limit the loss of HSCs and acquired bone marrow failure syndromes by protecting HSCs in patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatment for non-hematologic malignancies.