Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are characterized by their self-renewal potential associated to dormancy. Here we identify the cell surface receptor neogenin-1 as specifically expressed in dormant HSCs. Loss of neogenin-1 initially leads to increased HSC expansion but subsequently to loss of self-renewal and premature exhaustion in vivo. Its ligand netrin-1 induces Egr1 expression and maintains quiescence and function of cultured HSCs in a Neo1 dependent manner. Produced by arteriolar endothelial and periarteriolar stromal cells, conditional netrin-1 deletion in the bone marrow niche reduces HSC numbers, quiescence and self-renewal, while overexpression increases quiescence in vivo. Ageing associated bone marrow remodelling leads to the decline of netrin-1 expression in niches and a compensatory but reversible upregulation of neogenin-1 on HSCs. Our study suggests that niche produced netrin-1 preserves HSC quiescence and self-renewal via neogenin-1 function. Decline of netrin-1 production during ageing leads to the gradual decrease of Neo1 mediated HSC self-renewal.