Bone marrow contribution to the heart from development to adulthood

Vasco Sampaio-Pinto, Adrian Ruiz-Villalba, Diana S. Nascimento*, Jose M. Perez-Pomares*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Cardiac chamber walls contain large numbers of non-contractile interstitial cells, including fibroblasts, endothelial cells, pericytes and significant populations of blood lineage-derived cells. Blood cells first colonize heart tissues a few days before birth, although their recruitment from the bloodstream to the cardiac interstitium is continuous and extends throughout adult life. The bone marrow, as the major hematopoietic site of adult individuals, is in charge of renewing all circulating cell types, and it therefore plays a pivotal role in the incorporation of blood cells to the heart. Bone marrow-derived cells are instrumental to tissue homeostasis in the steady-state heart, and are major effectors in cardiac disease progression. This review will provide a comprehensive approach to bone marrow-derived blood cell functions in the heart, and discuss aspects related to hot topics in the cardiovascular field like cell-based heart regeneration strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-26
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Cell & Developmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Fetal and adult hematopoiesis
  • Blood lineages
  • Heart tissue homeostasis
  • Cardiac disease

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