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The analysis, roles and regulation of quiescence in hematopoietic stem cells.
Tissue homeostasis requires the presence of multipotent adult stem cells that are capable of efficient self-renewal and differentiation; some of these have been shown to exist in a dormant, or quiescent, cell cycle state. Such quiescence has been proposed as a fundamental property of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the adult bone marrow, acting to protect HSCs from functional exhaustion and cellular insults to enable lifelong hematopoietic cell production. Recent studies have demonstrated that HSC quiescence is regulated by a complex network of cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic factors. In addition, detailed single-cell analyses and novel imaging techniques have identified functional heterogeneity within quiescent HSC populations and have begun to delineate the topological organization of quiescent HSCs. Here, we review the current methods available to measure quiescence in HSCs and discuss the roles of HSC quiescence and the various mechanisms by which HSC quiescence is maintained.