Inflammation is an evolutionarily selected defense response to infection or tissue damage that involves activation and consumption of immune cells in order to reestablish and maintain organismal integrity. In this process, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are themselves exposed to inflammatory cues and via proliferation and differentiation, replace mature immune cells in a demand-adapted fashion. Here, we review how major sources of systemic inflammation act on and subsequently shape HSC fate and function. We highlight how lifelong inflammatory exposure contributes to HSC inflamm-aging and selection of premalignant HSC clones. Finally, we explore emerging areas of interest and open questions remaining in the field.

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