Medial HOXA genes demarcate haematopoietic stem cell fate during human development.
ABSTRACT: 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:HOXA7 regulates FL-HSPC self-renewal in vitro and in vivo. We profiled EB-HSPCs after HOXA7 overexpression (EB-HOXA7), or with a control vector (EB-CTR), to assess the gene expression programs regulated by HOXA7. CD34+CD38-CD43+CD90+ HSPCs were infected with lentiviral FUGW vector either empty (FUGW-GFP) or encoding HOXA7(FUGW-GFP-HOXA7) protein. Cells were expanded on op9 for 15 days and than sorted for GFP HSPC immunophenotype.
Project description:The emergence of haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) from hemogenic endothelium results in the formation of sizeable HSPC clusters attached to the vascular wall. We evaluate the cell cycle and proliferation of HSPCs involved in cluster formation, as well as the molecular signatures from their initial appearance to the point when cluster cells are capable of adult engraftment (definitive HSCs). We uncover a non-clonal origin of HSPC clusters with differing cell cycle, migration, and cell signaling attributes. In addition, we find that the complement cascade is highly enriched in mature HSPC clusters, possibly delineating a new role for this pathway in engraftment.
Project description:Stem cells reside in a specialized regulatory microenvironment or niche, where they receive appropriate support for maintaining self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation capacity. The niche may also protect stem cells from environmental insults including cytotoxic chemotherapy and perhaps pathogenic immunity. The testis, hair follicle and placenta are all sites of residence for stem cells and are immune-suppressive environments, called immune-privileged sites, where multiple mechanisms cooperate to prevent immune attack, even enabling prolonged survival of foreign allografts without immunosuppression. We sought to determine if somatic stem-cell niches more broadly are immune-privileged sites by examining the haematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC) niche in the bone marrow, a site where immune reactivity exists. We observed persistence of HSPCs from allogeneic donor mice (allo-HSPCs) in non-irradiated recipient mice for 30?days without immunosuppression with the same survival frequency compared to syngeneic HSPCs. These HSPCs were lost after the depletion of FoxP3 regulatory T (T(reg)) cells. High-resolution in vivo imaging over time demonstrated marked co-localization of HSPCs with T(reg) cells that accumulated on the endosteal surface in the calvarial and trabecular bone marrow. T(reg) cells seem to participate in creating a localized zone where HSPCs reside and where T(reg) cells are necessary for allo-HSPC persistence. In addition to processes supporting stem-cell function, the niche will provide a relative sanctuary from immune attack.
Project description:Haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) give rise to all blood lineages that support the entire lifespan of vertebrates1. After HSPCs emerge from endothelial cells within the developing dorsal aorta, homing allows the nascent cells to anchor in their niches for further expansion and differentiation2-5. Unique niche microenvironments, composed of various blood vessels as units of microcirculation and other niche components such as stromal cells, regulate this process6-9. However, the detailed architecture of the microenvironment and the mechanism for the regulation of HSPC homing remain unclear. Here, using advanced live imaging and a cell-labelling system, we perform high-resolution analyses of the HSPC homing in caudal haematopoietic tissue of zebrafish (equivalent to the fetal liver in mammals), and reveal the role of the vascular architecture in the regulation of HSPC retention. We identify a VCAM-1+ macrophage-like niche cell population that patrols the inner surface of the venous plexus, interacts with HSPCs in an ITGA4-dependent manner, and directs HSPC retention. These cells, named 'usher cells', together with caudal venous capillaries and plexus, define retention hotspots within the homing microenvironment. Thus, the study provides insights into the mechanism of HSPC homing and reveals the essential role of a VCAM-1+ macrophage population with patrolling behaviour in HSPC retention.
Project description:The mechanisms regulating hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) fate choices remain ill-defined. Here, we show that a signalling network of p190-B RhoGAP-ROS-TGF-?-p38MAPK balances HSPC self-renewal and differentiation. Upon transplantation, HSPCs express high amounts of bioactive TGF-?1 protein, which is associated with high levels of p38MAPK activity and loss of HSC self-renewal in vivo. Elevated levels of bioactive TGF-?1 are associated with asymmetric fate choice in vitro in single HSPCs via p38MAPK activity and this is correlated with the asymmetric distribution of activated p38MAPK. In contrast, loss of p190-B, a RhoGTPase inhibitor, normalizes TGF-? levels and p38MAPK activity in HSPCs and is correlated with increased HSC self-renewal in vivo. Loss of p190-B also promotes symmetric retention of multi-lineage capacity in single HSPC myeloid cell cultures, further suggesting a link between p190-B-RhoGAP and non-canonical TGF-? signalling in HSPC differentiation. Thus, intracellular cytokine signalling may serve as 'fate determinants' used by HSPCs to modulate their activity.
Project description:Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a largely incurable hematological malignancy, is derived from aberrant clonal hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) that persist after conventional therapies. Defining the mechanisms underlying MDS HSPC maintenance is critical for developing MDS therapy. The deacetylase SIRT1 regulates stem cell proliferation, survival, and self-renewal by deacetylating downstream proteins. Here we show that SIRT1 protein levels were downregulated in MDS HSPCs. Genetic or pharmacological activation of SIRT1 inhibited MDS HSPC functions, whereas SIRT1 deficiency enhanced MDS HSPC self-renewal. Mechanistically, the inhibitory effects of SIRT1 were dependent on TET2, a safeguard against HSPC transformation. SIRT1 deacetylated TET2 at conserved lysine residues in its catalytic domain, enhancing TET2 activity. Our genome-wide analysis identified cancer-related genes regulated by the SIRT1/TET2 axis. SIRT1 activation also inhibited functions of MDS HSPCs from patients with TET2 heterozygous mutations. Altogether, our results indicate that restoring TET2 function through SIRT1 activation represents a promising means to target MDS HSPCs.
Project description:Haematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) can mobilise into blood and produce immune cell lineages following stress. However, the homeostasis and function of HSPCs after infection in teleosts are less well known. Here, we report that Listonella anguillarum infection enhances HSPC mobilisation and reduces their differentiation into myeloid cells in ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis), an aquacultured teleost in East Asia. We established a colony-forming unit culture (CFU-C) assay to measure HSPCs using conditioned medium from peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with phytohaemagglutinin. The number of CFU-Cs decreased in the head kidney and increased in the blood and spleen of ayu infected with L. anguillarum. HSPC mobilisation after L. anguillarum infection was mediated by norepinephrine. Furthermore, HSPCs from ayu treated with L. anguillarum lipopolysaccharide (LPS) showed defective myeloid differentiation and could no longer rescue L. anguillarum-infected ayu. HSPC expansion was suppressed after L. anguillarum infection or its LPS treatment in vitro. These results reveal a link between HSPC regulation and pathogen infection in teleosts.
Project description:Haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), the precursors of all blood cells, reside predominantly in the bone marrow (BM). Recent evidence suggests that other anatomical sites may contribute significantly to blood production, but the cellular, molecular and functional composition of extramedullary HSPC pools remains unexplored. Here, we comprehensively characterized the single-cell composition of the adult human HSPC pool within paired BM, spleen and peripheral blood (PB) from two healthy organ donors. 10x scRNA-seq of 30000 HSPCs from all three sites defined transcriptionally distinct cell clusters that correspond to precursors of all haematopoietic lineages but also stem cells (HSCs). Although most clusters were common to all organs, their proportions significantly differed between tissues. Altogether our data provides evidence that different organs sustain distinct topologies of the hematopoietic hierarchy, originating from HSC subsets with distinct lineage preferences.
This dataset is part of the Human Cell Atlas.
Project description:Haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) require a specific microenvironment, the haematopoietic niche, which regulates HSPC behaviour1,2. The location of this niche varies across species, but the evolutionary pressures that drive HSPCs to different microenvironments remain unknown. The niche is located in the bone marrow in adult mammals, whereas it is found in other locations in non-mammalian vertebrates, for example, in the kidney marrow in teleost fish. Here we show that a melanocyte umbrella above the kidney marrow protects HSPCs against ultraviolet light in zebrafish. Because mutants that lack melanocytes have normal steady-state haematopoiesis under standard laboratory conditions, we hypothesized that melanocytes above the stem cell niche protect HSPCs against ultraviolet-light-induced DNA damage. Indeed, after ultraviolet-light irradiation, unpigmented larvae show higher levels of DNA damage in HSPCs, as indicated by staining of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and have reduced numbers of HSPCs, as shown by cmyb (also known as myb) expression. The umbrella of melanocytes associated with the haematopoietic niche is highly evolutionarily conserved in aquatic animals, including the sea lamprey, a basal vertebrate. During the transition from an aquatic to a terrestrial environment, HSPCs relocated into the bone marrow, which is protected from ultraviolet light by the cortical bone around the marrow. Our studies reveal that melanocytes above the haematopoietic niche protect HSPCs from ultraviolet-light-induced DNA damage in aquatic vertebrates and suggest that during the transition to terrestrial life, ultraviolet light was an evolutionary pressure affecting the location of the haematopoietic niche.
Project description:Haematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) transplant is a widely used treatment for life-threatening conditions such as leukaemia; however, the molecular mechanisms regulating HSPC engraftment of the recipient niche remain incompletely understood. Here we develop a competitive HSPC transplant method in adult zebrafish, using in vivo imaging as a non-invasive readout. We use this system to conduct a chemical screen, and identify epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) as a family of lipids that enhance HSPC engraftment. The pro-haematopoietic effects of EETs were conserved in the developing zebrafish embryo, where 11,12-EET promoted HSPC specification by activating a unique activator protein 1 (AP-1) and runx1 transcription program autonomous to the haemogenic endothelium. This effect required the activation of the phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI(3)K) pathway, specifically PI(3)K?. In adult HSPCs, 11,12-EET induced transcriptional programs, including AP-1 activation, which modulate several cellular processes, such as migration, to promote engraftment. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the EET effects on enhancing HSPC homing and engraftment are conserved in mammals. Our study establishes a new method to explore the molecular mechanisms of HSPC engraftment, and discovers a previously unrecognized, evolutionarily conserved pathway regulating multiple haematopoietic generation and regeneration processes. EETs may have clinical application in marrow or cord blood transplantation.