Dysregulated myelopoiesis and hematopoietic function following acute physiologic insult

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Purpose of review

The purpose of this review is to describe recent findings in the context of previous work regarding dysregulated myelopoiesis and hematopoietic function following an acute physiologic insult, focusing on the expansion and persistence of myeloid-deriver suppressor cells, the deterioration of lymphocyte number and function, and the inadequacy of stress erythropoiesis.

Recent findings

Persistent myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) expansion among critically ill septic patients is associated with T-cell suppression, vulnerability to nosocomial infection, chronic critical illness, and poor long-term functional status. Multiple approaches targeting MDSC expansion and suppressor cell activity may serve as a primary or adjunctive therapeutic intervention. Traumatic injury and the neuroendocrine stress response suppress bone marrow erythropoietin receptor expression in a process that may be reversed by nonselective beta-adrenergic receptor blockade. Hepcidin-mediated iron-restricted anemia of critical illness requires further investigation of novel approaches involving erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, iron administration, and hepcidin modulation.


Emergency myelopoiesis is a dynamic process with unique phenotypes for different physiologic insults and host factors. Following an acute physiologic insult, critically ill patients are subject to persistent MDSC expansion, deterioration of lymphocyte number and function, and inadequate stress erythropoiesis. Better strategies are required to identify patients who are most likely to benefit from targeted therapies.

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