Hematopoietic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells progresses through sequential hematoendothelial, primitive, and definitive stages resembling human yolk sac development.
ABSTRACT: We elucidate the cellular and molecular kinetics of the stepwise differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to primitive and definitive erythromyelopoiesis from human embryoid bodies (hEBs) in serum-free clonogenic assays. Hematopoiesis initiates from CD45 hEB cells with emergence of semiadherent mesodermal-hematoendothelial (MHE) colonies that can generate endothelium and form organized, yolk sac-like structures that secondarily generate multipotent primitive hematopoietic stem progenitor cells (HSPCs), erythroblasts, and CD13+CD45+ macrophages. A first wave of hematopoiesis follows MHE colony emergence and is predominated by primitive erythropoiesis characterized by a brilliant red hemoglobinization, CD71/CD325a (glycophorin A) expression, and exclusively embryonic/fetal hemoglobin expression. A second wave of definitive-type erythroid burst-forming units (BFU-e's), erythroid colony-forming units (CFU-e's), granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming cells (GM-CFCs), and multilineage CFCs follows next from hEB progenitors. These stages of hematopoiesis proceed spontaneously from hEB-derived cells without requirement for supplemental growth factors during hEB differentiation. Gene expression analysis of differentiating hEBs revealed that initiation of hematopoiesis correlated with increased levels of SCL/TAL1, GATA1, GATA2, CD34, CD31, and the homeobox gene-regulating factor CDX4 These data indicate that hematopoietic differentiation of hESCs models the earliest events of embryonic and definitive hematopoiesis in a manner resembling human yolk sac development, thus providing a valuable tool for dissecting the earliest events in human HSPC genesis.
Project description:In the adult, platelets are derived from unipotential megakaryocyte colony-forming cells (Meg-CFCs) that arise from bipotential megakaryocyte/erythroid progenitors (MEPs). To better define the developmental origin of the megakaryocyte lineage, several aspects of megakaryopoiesis, including progenitors, maturing megakaryocytes, and circulating platelets, were examined in the murine embryo. We found that a majority of hemangioblast precursors during early gastrulation contains megakaryocyte potential. Combining progenitor assays with immunohistochemical analysis, we identified 2 waves of MEPs in the yolk sac associated with the primitive and definitive erythroid lineages. Primitive MEPs emerge at E7.25 along with megakaryocyte and primitive erythroid progenitors, indicating that primitive hematopoiesis is bilineage in nature. Subsequently, definitive MEPs expand in the yolk sac with Meg-CFCs and definitive erythroid progenitors. The first GP1bbeta-positive cells in the conceptus were identified in the yolk sac at E9.5, while large, highly reticulated platelets were detected in the embryonic bloodstream beginning at E10.5. At this time, the number of megakaryocyte progenitors begins to decline in the yolk sac and expand in the fetal liver. We conclude that the megakaryocyte lineage initially originates from hemangioblast precursors during early gastrulation and is closely associated both with primitive and with definitive erythroid lineages in the yolk sac prior to the transition of hematopoiesis to intraembryonic sites.
Project description:Spherical three-dimensional cell aggregates called embryoid bodies (EBs), have been widely used in in vitro differentiation protocols for human pluripotent stem cells including human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). Recent studies highlight the new devices and techniques for hEB formation and expansion, but are not involved in the passaging or subculture process. Here, we provide evidence that a simple periodic passaging markedly improved hEB culture condition and thus allowed the size-controlled, mass production of human embryoid bodies (hEBs) derived from both hESCs and hiPSCs. hEBs maintained in prolonged suspension culture without passaging (>2 weeks) showed a progressive decrease in the cell growth and proliferation and increase in the apoptosis compared to 7-day-old hEBs. However, when serially passaged in suspension, hEB cell populations were significantly increased in number while maintaining the normal rates of cell proliferation and apoptosis and the differentiation potential. Uniform-sized hEBs produced by manual passaging using a 1?4 split ratio have been successfully maintained for over 20 continuous passages. The passaging culture method of hEBs, which is simple, readily expandable, and reproducible, could be a powerful tool for improving a robust and scalable in vitro differentiation system of human pluripotent stem cells.
Project description:We report a technology to form human embryoid bodies (hEBs) from singularized human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) without the use of the p160 rho-associated coiled-coil kinase inhibitor (ROCKi) or centrifugation (spin). hEB formation was tested under four conditions: +ROCKi/+spin, +ROCKi/-spin, -ROCKi/+spin, and -ROCKi/-spin. Cell suspensions of BG01V/hOG and H9 hESC lines were pipetted into non-adherent hydrogel substrates containing defined microwell arrays. hEBs of consistent size and spherical geometry can be formed in each of the four conditions, including the -ROCKi/-spin condition. The hEBs formed under the -ROCKi/-spin condition differentiated to develop the three embryonic germ layers and tissues derived from each of the germ layers. This simplified hEB production technique offers homogeneity in hEB size and shape to support synchronous differentiation, elimination of the ROCKi xeno-factor and rate-limiting centrifugation treatment, and low-cost scalability, which will directly support automated, large-scale production of hEBs and hESC-derived cells needed for clinical, research, or therapeutic applications.
Project description:Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can be induced to differentiate into blood cells using either co-culture with stromal cells or following human embryoid bodies (hEBs) formation. It is now well established that the HOXB4 homeoprotein promotes the expansion of human adult hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) but also myeloid and lymphoid progenitors. However, the role of HOXB4 in the development of hematopoietic cells from hESCs and particularly in the generation of hESC-derived NK-progenitor cells remains elusive. Based on the ability of HOXB4 to passively enter hematopoietic cells in a system that comprises a co-culture with the MS-5/SP-HOXB4 stromal cells, we provide evidence that HOXB4 delivery promotes the enrichment of hEB-derived precursors that could differentiate into fully mature and functional NK. These hEB-derived NK cells enriched by HOXB4 were characterized according to their CMH class I receptor expression, their cytotoxic arsenal, their expression of IFN? and CD107a after stimulation and their lytic activity. Furthermore our study provides new insights into the gene expression profile of hEB-derived cells exposed to HOXB4 and shows the emergence of CD34(+)CD45RA(+) precursors from hEBs indicating the lymphoid specification of hESC-derived hematopoietic precursors. Altogether, our results outline the effects of HOXB4 in combination with stromal cells in the development of NK cells from hESCs and suggest the potential use of HOXB4 protein for NK-cell enrichment from pluripotent stem cells.
Project description:The differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to hematopoietic lineages initiates with the specification of hemogenic endothelium, a transient specialized endothelial precursor of all blood cells. This in vitro system provides an invaluable model to dissect the emergence of hematopoiesis in humans. However, the study of hematopoiesis specification is hampered by a lack of consensus in the timing of hemogenic endothelium analysis and the full hematopoietic potential of this population. Here, our data reveal a sharp decline in the hemogenic potential of endothelium populations isolated over the course of hESC differentiation. Furthermore, by tracking the dynamic expression of CD31 and CD235a at the onset of hematopoiesis, we identified three populations of hematopoietic progenitors, representing primitive and definitive subsets that all emerge from the earliest specified hemogenic endothelium. Our data establish that hemogenic endothelium populations endowed with primitive and definitive hematopoietic potential are specified simultaneously from the mesoderm in differentiating hESCs.
Project description:Analysis of genes enriched in MIXL1+ sorted cells during primitive streak induction identified Apelin receptor (APLNR), a highly conserved member of the G-protein coupled receptor family. Depending upon the growth factor conditions used for differentiation, APLNR+ cells identified both posterior mesodermal and anterior mesendodermal components of the primitive streak. APLNR+ cells isolated from mesodermal differentiated cultures were enriched in hematopoietic blast colony forming cells (Bl-CFCs) and the addition of Apelin peptide enhanced the frequency and growth of both hematopoietic colonies and hESC-derived endothelial cells. These studies identified APLNR as a marker of primitive streak-like cells differentiated from hESCs and defined a novel role for Apelin as a regulator of early human hematopoiesis.
Project description:A simple, scalable, and reproducible technology that allows direct formation of large numbers of homogeneous and synchronized embryoid bodies (EBs) of defined sizes from dissociated human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) was developed. Non-cell-adhesive hydrogels were used to create round-bottom microwells to host dissociated hiPSCs. No Rho-associated kinase inhibitor (ROCK-i), or centrifugation was needed and the side effects of ROCK-i can be avoided. The key requirement for the successful EB formation in addition to the non-cell-adhesive round-bottom microwells is the input cell density per microwell. Too few or too many cells loaded into the microwells will compromise the EB formation process. In parallel, we have tested our microwell-based system for homogeneous hEB formation from dissociated human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Successful production of homogeneous hEBs from dissociated hESCs in the absence of ROCK-i and centrifugation was achieved within an optimal range of input cell density per microwell. Both the hiPSC- and hESC-derived hEBs expressed key proteins characteristic of all the three developmental germ layers, confirming their EB identity. This novel EB production technology may represent a versatile platform for the production of homogeneous EBs from dissociated human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs).
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) can control stem cell differentiation by targeting mRNAs. Using 96-well plate electroporation, we screened 466 human miRNA mimics by four-color flow cytometry to explore differentiation of common myeloid progenitors (CMP) derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The transfected cells were then cultured in a cytokine cocktail that supported multiple hematopoietic lineages. At 4-5 days post-transfection, flow cytometry of erythroid (CD235(+)CD41(-)), megakaryocyte (CD41(+)CD42(+)), and myeloid (CD18(+)CD235(-)) lineages revealed miR-105 as a novel enhancer of megakaryocyte production during in vitro primitive hematopoiesis. In hESC-derived CMPs, miR-105 caused a sixfold enhancement in megakaryocyte production. miR-513a, miR-571, and miR-195 were found to be less potent megakaryocyte enhancers. We confirmed the relevance of miR-105 in adult megakaryopoiesis by demonstrating increased megakaryocyte yield and megakaryocyte colony forming potential in human adult CD34(+) cells derived from peripheral blood. In addition, adult CD34(+) cells express endogenous miR-105 during megakaryocyte differentiation. siRNA knockdown of the hematopoietic transcription factor c-Myb caused a similar enhancement of megakaryocyte production as miR-105. Finally, a luciferase/c-Myb-3'UTR construct and Western blot analysis demonstrated that the hematopoietic transcription factor c-Myb mRNA was a target of miR-105. We report a novel hESC-based miR screening platform and demonstrate that miR-105 is an enhancer of megakaryopoiesis in both primitive and definitive hematopoiesis.
Project description:Determining the molecular regulators/pathways responsible for the specification of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into hematopoietic precursors has far-reaching implications for potential cell therapies and disease modeling. Mouse models lacking SCL/TAL1 (stem cell leukemia/T-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia 1) do not survive beyond early embryogenesis because of complete absence of hematopoiesis, indicating that SCL is a master early hematopoietic regulator. SCL is commonly found rearranged in human leukemias. However, there is barely information on the role of SCL on human embryonic hematopoietic development. Differentiation and sorting assays show that endogenous SCL expression parallels hematopoietic specification of hESCs and that SCL is specifically expressed in hematoendothelial progenitors (CD45(-)CD31(+)CD34(+)) and, to a lesser extent, on CD45(+) hematopoietic cells. Enforced expression of SCL in hESCs accelerates the emergence of hematoendothelial progenitors and robustly promotes subsequent differentiation into primitive (CD34(+)CD45(+)) and total (CD45(+)) blood cells with higher clonogenic potential. Short-hairpin RNA-based silencing of endogenous SCL abrogates hematopoietic specification of hESCs, confirming the early hematopoiesis-promoting effect of SCL. Unfortunately, SCL expression on its own is not sufficient to confer in vivo engraftment to hESC-derived hematopoietic cells, suggesting that additional yet undefined master regulators are required to orchestrate the stepwise hematopoietic developmental process leading to the generation of definitive in vivo functional hematopoiesis from hESCs.
Project description:Derivation of bone forming cells (osteoblasts) from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is a prerequisite for their use in clinical applications. However, there is no standard protocol for differentiating hESCs into osteoblastic cells. The aim of this study was to identify the emergence of a human stromal (mesenchymal and skeletal) stem cell (hMSC)-like population, known to be osteoblastic cell precursors and to test their osteoblastic differentiation capacity in ex vivo cultures and in vivo. We cultured hESCs in a feeder-free environment using serum replacement and as suspension aggregates (embryoid bodies; hEBs). Over a 20 day developmental period, the hEBs demonstrated increasing enrichment for cells expressing hMSC markers: CD29, CD44, CD63, CD56, CD71, CD73, CD105, CD106, and CD166 as revealed by immunohistochemical staining and flow cytometry (fluorescence-activated cell sorting) analysis. Ex vivo differentiation of hEBs using bone morphogenic protein 2 (BMP2) combined with standard osteoblast induction medium led to weak osteoblastic induction. Conversely, subcutaneous in vivo implantation of day 20 hEBs in immune deficient mice, mixed with hydroxyapatite/tricalcium phosphate (HA/TCP) as an osteoconductive scaffold, revealed bone and cartilage, and fibrous tissue elements after 8 weeks. These tissues were of human origin and there was no evidence of differentiation to nonmesodermal tissues. hEBs implanted in the absence of HA/TCP formed vacuolated tissue containing glandular, fibrous and muscle-like tissue elements. Conversely, implantation of undifferentiated hESCs resulted in the formation of a teratoma containing a mixture of endodermal, mesodermal, and ectodermal tissues. Our study demonstrates that hMSC-like cells can be obtained from hESCs and they can be induced to form skeletal tissues in vivo when combined with HA/TCP. These findings are relevant for tissue engineering and suggest that differentiated hEBs can provide an unlimited source for functional osteogenic cells.