Hemopoiesis is the production of blood cells. Before birth, hemopoiesis occurs primarily in the liver and spleen, but some cells develop in the thymus, lymph nodes, and red bone marrow. After birth, most production is limited to red bone marrow in specific regions, but some white blood cells are produced in lymphoid tissue.
All types of formed elements develop from a single cell type — stem cell (pleuripotential cells or hemocytoblasts). Seven different cell lines, each controlled by a specific growth factor, develop from the hemocytoblast. When a stem cell divides, one of the "daughters" remains a stem cell and the other becomes a precursor cell, either a lymphoid cell or a myeloid cell. These cells continue to mature into various blood cells.
- Blood Cell Lineage National Cancer Institute. Accessed January 3, 2012. Author unknown.