Angiocrine factors from Akt-activated endothelial cells balance self-renewal and differentiation of haematopoietic stem cells.
ABSTRACT: Endothelial cells establish an instructive vascular niche that reconstitutes haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) through release of specific paracrine growth factors, known as angiocrine factors. However, the mechanism by which endothelial cells balance the rate of proliferation and lineage-specific differentiation of HSPCs is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that Akt activation in endothelial cells, through recruitment of mTOR, but not the FoxO pathway, upregulates specific angiocrine factors that support expansion of CD34(-)Flt3(-) KLS HSPCs with long-term haematopoietic stem cell (LT-HSC) repopulation capacity. Conversely, co-activation of Akt-stimulated endothelial cells with p42/44 MAPK shifts the balance towards maintenance and differentiation of the HSPCs. Selective activation of Akt1 in the endothelial cells of adult mice increased the number of colony forming units in the spleen and CD34(-)Flt3(-) KLS HSPCs with LT-HSC activity in the bone marrow, accelerating haematopoietic recovery. Therefore, the activation state of endothelial cells modulates reconstitution of HSPCs through the modulation of angiocrine factors, with Akt-mTOR-activated endothelial cells supporting the self-renewal of LT-HSCs and expansion of HSPCs, whereas MAPK co-activation favours maintenance and lineage-specific differentiation of HSPCs.
Project description:Bone marrow endothelial cells (ECs) are essential for reconstitution of hematopoiesis, but their role in self-renewal of long-term hematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSCs) is unknown. We have developed angiogenic models to demonstrate that EC-derived angiocrine growth factors support in vitro self-renewal and in vivo repopulation of authentic LT-HSCs. In serum/cytokine-free cocultures, ECs, through direct cellular contact, stimulated incremental expansion of repopulating CD34(-)Flt3(-)cKit(+)Lineage(-)Sca1(+) LT-HSCs, which retained their self-renewal ability, as determined by single-cell and serial transplantation assays. Angiocrine expression of Notch ligands by ECs promoted proliferation and prevented exhaustion of LT-HSCs derived from wild-type, but not Notch1/Notch2-deficient, mice. In transgenic notch-reporter (TNR.Gfp) mice, regenerating TNR.Gfp(+) LT-HSCs were detected in cellular contact with sinusoidal ECs. Interference with angiocrine, but not perfusion, function of SECs impaired repopulation of TNR.Gfp(+) LT-HSCs. ECs establish an instructive vascular niche for clinical-scale expansion of LT-HSCs and a cellular platform to identify stem cell-active trophogens.
Project description:Aging is associated with significant changes in hematopoiesis, including clonal dominance, anemia, myeloid malignancies, and reduced activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (Stat5). In previous studies, Stat5 deletion surprisingly amplified FLT3/ITD+ myeloid expansion or Myc-driven lymphoid expansion. Here we show that Stat5 deficiency has a strong impact upon transcriptional heterogeneity in single sorted c-Kit+Lin-Sca-1+ (KLS) cells or CD150+CD48- KLS long-term repopulating hematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSC). Single cell polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed on selected regulators of multi-lineage hematopoiesis. At least two dominant sub-populations were identified by increased expression of cell cycle regulatory and leukemia-associated genes. Furthermore, in the top expressing quartile of cells, the majority of genes were proportionally overrepresented. In wild-type KLS cells, Stat5 mRNA levels were also strongly correlated with several genes. Since heterogeneity decreases with age or inflammatory or oncogenic stress, these results provide a potential mechanistic linkage to Stat5 expression.
Project description:AIMS/HYPOTHESIS:Previous studies have shown that diabetes mellitus destabilises the integrity of the microvasculature in different organs by damaging the interaction between pericytes and endothelial cells. In bone marrow, pericytes exert trophic functions on endothelial cells and haematopoietic cells through paracrine mechanisms. However, whether bone marrow pericytes are a target of diabetes-induced damage remains unknown. Here, we investigated whether type 2 diabetes can affect the abundance and function of bone marrow pericytes. METHODS:We conducted an observational clinical study comparing the abundance and molecular/functional characteristics of CD146+ pericytes isolated from the bone marrow of 25 individuals without diabetes and 14 individuals with uncomplicated type 2 diabetes, referring to our Musculoskeletal Research Unit for hip reconstructive surgery. RESULTS:Immunohistochemistry revealed that diabetes causes capillary rarefaction and compression of arteriole size in bone marrow, without changing CD146+ pericyte counts. These data were confirmed by flow cytometry on freshly isolated bone marrow cells. We then performed an extensive functional and molecular characterisation of immunosorted CD146+ pericytes. Type 2 diabetes caused a reduction in pericyte proliferation, viability, migration and capacity to support in vitro angiogenesis, while inducing apoptosis. AKT is a key regulator of the above functions and its phosphorylation state is reportedly reduced in the bone marrow endothelium of individuals with diabetes. Surprisingly, we could not find a difference in AKT phosphorylation (at either Ser473 or Thr308) in bone marrow pericytes from individuals with and without diabetes. Nonetheless, the angiocrine signalling reportedly associated with AKT was found to be significantly downregulated, with lower levels of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) and C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12), and activation of the angiogenesis inhibitor angiopoietin 2 (ANGPT2). Transfection with the adenoviral vector carrying the coding sequence for constitutively active myristoylated AKT rescued functional defects and angiocrine signalling in bone marrow pericytes from diabetic individuals. Furthermore, an ANGPT2 blocking antibody restored the capacity of pericytes to promote endothelial networking. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION:This is the first demonstration of pericyte dysfunction in bone marrow of people with type 2 diabetes. An altered angiocrine signalling from pericytes may participate in bone marrow microvascular remodelling in individuals with diabetes.
Project description:Developmental pathways that orchestrate the fleeting transition of endothelial cells into haematopoietic stem cells remain undefined. Here we demonstrate a tractable approach for fully reprogramming adult mouse endothelial cells to haematopoietic stem cells (rEC-HSCs) through transient expression of the transcription-factor-encoding genes Fosb, Gfi1, Runx1, and Spi1 (collectively denoted hereafter as FGRS) and vascular-niche-derived angiocrine factors. The induction phase (days 0-8) of conversion is initiated by expression of FGRS in mature endothelial cells, which results in endogenous Runx1 expression. During the specification phase (days 8-20), RUNX1+ FGRS-transduced endothelial cells commit to a haematopoietic fate, yielding rEC-HSCs that no longer require FGRS expression. The vascular niche drives a robust self-renewal and expansion phase of rEC-HSCs (days 20-28). rEC-HSCs have a transcriptome and long-term self-renewal capacity similar to those of adult haematopoietic stem cells, and can be used for clonal engraftment and serial primary and secondary multi-lineage reconstitution, including antigen-dependent adaptive immune function. Inhibition of TGF? and CXCR7 or activation of BMP and CXCR4 signalling enhanced generation of rEC-HSCs. Pluripotency-independent conversion of endothelial cells into autologous authentic engraftable haematopoietic stem cells could aid treatment of haematological disorders.
Project description:Transcription factors FOXOs (1, 3, 4) are essential for the maintenance of haematopoietic stem cells. FOXOs are evolutionary conserved substrates of the AKT serine threonine protein kinase that are also phosphorylated by several kinases other than AKT. Specifically, phosphorylation by AKT is known to result in the cytosolic localization of FOXO and subsequent inhibition of FOXO transcriptional activity. In addition to phosphorylation, FOXOs are regulated by a number of other post-translational modifications including acetylation, methylation, redox modulation, and ubiquitination that altogether determine these factors' output. Cumulating evidence raises the possibility that in stem cells, including in haematopoietic stem cells, AKT may not be the dominant regulator of FOXO. To address this question in more detail, we examined gene expression, subcellular localization, and response to AKT inhibition of FOXO1 and FOXO3, the main FOXO expressed in HSPCs (haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells). Here we show that while FOXO1 and FOXO3 transcripts are expressed at similar levels, endogenous FOXO3 protein is mostly nuclear compared to the cytoplasmic localization of FOXO1 in HSPCs. Furthermore, inhibition of AKT does not enhance nuclear localization of FOXO1 nor FOXO3. Nonetheless AKT inhibition in the context of loss of NAD-dependent SIRT1 deacetylase modulates FOXO3 localization in HSPCs. Together, these data suggest that FOXO3 is more active than FOXO1 in primitive haematopoietic stem and multipotent progenitor cells. In addition, they indicate that upstream regulators other than AKT, such as SIRT1, maintain nuclear FOXO localization and activity in HSPCs.
Project description:Endothelial cells were transduced with different genes modulating signaling pathways and compared to GFP transduced control group to identify changes in the expression of the angiocrine factors. The experiment compared endothelial genetic changes upon Akt, MAP kinase and PymT activation.
Project description:Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) may provide a potential source of haematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) for transplantation; however, unknown molecular barriers prevent the self-renewal of PSC-HSPCs. Using two-step differentiation, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) differentiated in vitro into multipotent haematopoietic cells that had the CD34(+)CD38(-/lo)CD90(+)CD45(+)GPI-80(+) fetal liver (FL) HSPC immunophenotype, but exhibited poor expansion potential and engraftment ability. Transcriptome analysis of immunophenotypic hESC-HSPCs revealed that, despite their molecular resemblance to FL-HSPCs, medial HOXA genes remained suppressed. Knockdown of HOXA7 disrupted FL-HSPC function and caused transcriptome dysregulation that resembled hESC-derived progenitors. Overexpression of medial HOXA genes prolonged FL-HSPC maintenance but was insufficient to confer self-renewal to hESC-HSPCs. Stimulation of retinoic acid signalling during endothelial-to-haematopoietic transition induced the HOXA cluster and other HSC/definitive haemogenic endothelium genes, and prolonged HSPC maintenance in culture. Thus, medial HOXA gene expression induced by retinoic acid signalling marks the establishment of the definitive HSPC fate and controls HSPC identity and function.
Project description:Angiocrine factors, such as Notch ligands, supplied by the specialized endothelial cells (ECs) within the bone marrow and splenic vascular niche play an essential role in modulating the physiology of adult hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). However, the relative contribution of various Notch ligands, specifically jagged-2, to the homeostasis of HSPCs is unknown. Here, we show that under steady state, jagged-2 is differentially expressed in tissue-specific vascular beds, but its expression is induced in hematopoietic vascular niches after myelosuppressive injury. We used mice with EC-specific deletion of the gene encoding jagged-2 (Jag2) to demonstrate that while EC-derived jagged-2 was dispensable for maintaining the capacity of HSPCs to repopulate under steady-state conditions, by activating Notch2 it did contribute to the recovery of HSPCs in response to myelosuppressive conditions. Engraftment and/or expansion of HSPCs was dependent on the expression of endothelial-derived jagged-2 following myeloablation. Additionally, jagged-2 expressed in bone marrow ECs regulated HSPC cell cycle and quiescence during regeneration. Endothelial-deployed jagged-2 triggered Notch2/Hey1, while tempering Notch2/Hes1 signaling in HSPCs. Collectively, these data demonstrate that EC-derived jagged-2 activates Notch2 signaling in HSPCs to promote hematopoietic recovery and has potential as a therapeutic target to accelerate balanced hematopoietic reconstitution after myelosuppression.
Project description:The endothelial to haematopoietic transition (EHT) is the process whereby haemogenic endothelium differentiates into haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). The intermediary steps of this process are unclear, in particular the identity of endothelial cells that give rise to HSPCs is unknown. Using single-cell transcriptome analysis and antibody screening, we identify CD44 as a marker of EHT enabling us to isolate robustly the different stages of EHT in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros (AGM) region. This allows us to provide a detailed phenotypical and transcriptional profile of CD44-positive arterial endothelial cells from which HSPCs emerge. They are characterized with high expression of genes related to Notch signalling, TGFbeta/BMP antagonists, a downregulation of genes related to glycolysis and the TCA cycle, and a lower rate of cell cycle. Moreover, we demonstrate that by inhibiting the interaction between CD44 and its ligand hyaluronan, we can block EHT, identifying an additional regulator of HSPC development.
Project description:Endothelial cells were transduced with different genes modulating signaling pathways and compared to GFP transduced control group to identify changes in the expression of the angiocrine factors. Overall design: The experiment compared endothelial genetic changes upon Akt, MAP kinase and PymT activation.