Ontogenic growth of the haemopoietic stem cell pool in humans

David Dingli, Jorge M. Pacheco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Recently, the size of the active stem cell pool has been predicted to scale allometrically with the adult mass of mammalian species with a 3/4 power exponent, similar to what has been found to occur for the resting metabolic rate across species. Here we investigate the allometric scaling of human haemopoietic stem cells (HSCs) during ontogenic growth and predict a linear scaling with body mass. We also investigate the allometric scaling of resting metabolic rate during growth in humans and find a linear scaling with mass similar to that of the haemopoietic stem cell pool. Our findings suggest a common underlying organizational principle determining the linear scaling of both the stem cell pool and resting metabolic rate with mass during ontogenic growth within the human species, combined with a 3/4 scaling with adult mass across mammalian species. It is possible that such common principles remain valid for haemopoiesis in other mammalian species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2497-2501
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1624
StatePublished - Oct 7 2007


  • Allometric scaling
  • Haemopoiesis
  • Haemopoietic stem cells
  • Human ontogeny
  • Reticulocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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