The role of telomeres and telomerase complex in haematological neoplasia: the length of telomeres as a marker of carcinogenesis and prognosis of disease.
Hematopoietic stem cells have typically been defined as pluripotent cells with self-renewal capacity. Recent studies have shown striking differences in the mean length of telomeric repeat sequences at the end of chromosomes from human hematopoietic cells at different stages of development. The most likely explanation for these observations is that hematopoietic stem cells, like all other somatic cells studied to date, lose telomeric DNA upon each cell division. In this review, limitations in the replicative potential of hematopoietic stem cells are discussed in the context of possible clinical use of such cells for transplantation and gene therapy.