Clonal hematopoiesis and non-hematologic disorders.
Clonal expansions of mutated hematopoietic cells, termed clonal hematopoiesis, are common in aging humans. One expected consequence of mutation-associated clonal hematopoiesis is an increased risk of hematologic cancers, which has now been shown in several studies. However, the hematopoietic stem cells that acquire these somatic mutations also give rise to mutated immune effector cells, such as monocytes, granulocytes, and lymphocytes. These effector cells can potentially influence many disease states, especially those with a chronic inflammatory component. Indeed, several studies have now shown that clonal hematopoiesis associates with increased risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Emerging data also associate clonal hematopoiesis to other non-hematologic diseases. Here, we will review recent studies linking clonal hematopoiesis to altered immune function, inflammation, and non-malignant diseases of aging.