Acute myeloid leukemia remodels endosteal vascular niche into a leukemic niche
At steady state, normal hematopoiesis occurs in highly specialized bone marrow (BM) niches that regulate self-renewal, quiescence and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to maintain continuous supply of mature cells throughout the lifespan (1,2). Ironically, the BM niche is also the site for malignant hematopoiesis. Leukemia cells, akin to the invasive weed Parthenium hysterophorus that destroyed the habitat of native plant & animal species (3), are ruthless competitors and destroy the natural habitat of normal hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells by altering the behavior of supporting cells in the BM niche (4-6). Apart from leukemias, defects in hematopoiesis are frequently observed in different cancer patients with BM metastasis (7,8).