Self-renewing hematopoietic stem cells and their progeny, lineage-specific downstream progenitors, maintain steady-state hematopoiesis in the bone marrow (BM). Accumulating evidence over the last few years indicates that not only primitive hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), but also cells defining the microenvironment of the BM (BM niche), sense hematopoietic stress signals. They respond by directing and orchestrating hematopoiesis via not only cell-intrinsic but also cell-extrinsic mechanisms. Inflammation has many beneficial roles by activating the immune system in tissue repair and as a defense mechanism. However, chronic inflammation can have detrimental effects by stressing HSPCs, leading to cell (DNA) damage resulting in BM failure or even to leukemia. Emerging data have demonstrated that the BM microenvironment plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of hematopoietic malignancies, in particular, through disrupted inflammatory signaling, specifically in niche (microenvironmental) cells. Clonal selection in the context of microenvironmental alterations can occur in the context of toxic insults (eg, chemotherapy), not only aging but also inflammation. In this review, we summarize mechanisms that lead to an inflammatory BM microenvironment and discuss how this affects normal hematopoiesis. We pay particular attention to the process of aging, which is known to involve low-grade inflammation and is also associated with age-related clonal hematopoiesis and potentially malignant transformation.