Project description:Programmed cell death 2 (Pdcd2) is a highly conserved protein of undefined function, and is widely expressed in embryonic and adult tissues. The observations that knockout of Pdcd2 in the mouse is embryonic lethal at preimplantation stages, and that in Drosophila, Zfrp8, the ortholog of Pdcd2, is required for normal lymph gland development suggest that Pdcd2 is important for regulating hematopoietic development. Through genetic and functional studies, we investigated pdcd2 function during the zebrafish ontogeny. Knockdown of pdcd2 expression in zebrafish embryos resulted in defects in embryonic hematopoietic development. Loss of pdcd2 function caused increased expression of progenitor markers, and accumulation of erythroid progenitors during primitive hematopoiesis. Additionally, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) failed to appear in the aorta-gonad mesonephros, and were not able to terminally differentiate or reconstitute hematopoiesis. Pdcd2 effects on HSC emergence were cell autonomous and P53-independent, and loss of pdcd2 function was associated with mitotic defects and apoptosis. Restoration of runx1 function(s) and modulation of apoptosis through the inhibition of Jak/Stat signaling rescued the hematopoietic and erythroid defects resulting from pdcd2 knockdown. Our studies suggest that pdcd2 plays a critical role in regulating the transcriptional hierarchy controlling hematopoietic lineage determination. Furthermore, the effects of pdcd2 in regulating mitotic cell death may contribute to its role(s) in directing hematopoietic differentiation during development.
Project description:Advances in pluripotent stem cell and reprogramming technologies have given us the hope of generating hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in culture. To succeed, greater understanding of the self-renewing HSC during human development is required. We discovered that the glycophosphatidylinositol-anchored surface protein GPI-80 defines a subpopulation of human fetal liver hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) with self-renewal ability. CD34(+)CD38(lo/-)CD90(+)GPI-80(+) HSPCs were the sole population that maintained proliferative potential and an undifferentiated state in stroma coculture and engrafted in immunodeficient mice. GPI-80 expression also enabled tracking of HSPCs once they emerged from endothelium and migrated between human fetal hematopoietic niches. GPI-80 colocalized on the surface of HSPCs with Integrin alpha-M (ITGAM), which in leukocytes cooperates with GPI-80 to support migration. Knockdown of GPI-80 or ITGAM was sufficient to compromise HSPC expansion in culture and engraftment in vivo. These findings indicate that human fetal HSCs employ mechanisms used in leukocyte adhesion and migration to mediate HSC self-renewal.
Project description:The functions of retinoic acid (RA), a potent morphogen with crucial roles in embryogenesis including developmental hematopoiesis, have not been thoroughly investigated in the human setting. Using an in vitro model of human hematopoietic development, we evaluated the effects of RA signaling on the development of blood and on generated hematopoietic progenitors. Decreased RA signaling increases the generation of cells with a hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)-like phenotype, capable of differentiation into myeloid and lymphoid lineages, through two separate mechanisms: by increasing the commitment of pluripotent stem cells toward the hematopoietic lineage during the developmental process and by decreasing the differentiation of generated blood progenitors. Our results demonstrate that controlled low-level RA signaling is a requirement in human blood development, and we propose a new interpretation of RA as a regulatory factor, where appropriate control of RA signaling enables increased generation of hematopoietic progenitor cells from pluripotent stem cells in vitro.
Project description:Klotho deficiency is a characteristic feature of chronic kidney disease in which anemia and cardiovascular complications are prevalent. Disruption of the Klotho gene in mice results in hypervitaminosis D and a syndrome resembling accelerated aging that includes osteopenia and vascular calcifications. Given that the bone microenvironment and its cellular components considerably influence hematopoiesis, in the present study, we addressed the in vivo role of klotho in blood cell formation and differentiation. Herein, we report that genetic ablation of Klotho in mice results in a significant increase in erythropoiesis and a decrease in the hematopoietic stem cell pool size in the bone marrow, leading to impaired hematopoietic stem cell homing in vivo. Our data also suggest that high vitamin D levels are only partially responsible for these hematopoietic changes in Klotho(-/-) mice. Importantly, we found similar hematopoietic abnormalities in Klotho(-/-) fetal liver cells, suggesting that the effects of klotho in hematopoietic stem cell development are independent of the bone microenvironment. Finally, injection of klotho protein results in hematopoietic changes opposite to the ones observed in Klotho(-/-) mice. These observations unveil a novel role for the antiaging hormone klotho in the regulation of prenatal and postnatal hematopoiesis and provide new insights for the development of therapeutic strategies targeting klotho to treat hematopoietic disorders associated with aging.
Project description:Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are capable of giving rise to all blood cell lineages throughout adulthood, and the generation of engraftable HSCs from human pluripotent stem cells is a major goal for regenerative medicine. Here, we describe a functional genome-wide RNAi screen to identify genes required for the differentiation of embryonic stem cell (ESC) into hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) in vitro We report the discovery of novel genes important for the endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition and subsequently for HSPC specification. High-throughput sequencing and bioinformatic analyses identified twelve groups of genes, including a set of 351 novel genes required for HSPC specification. As in vivo proof of concept, four of these genes, Ap2a1, Mettl22, Lrsam1, and Hal, are selected for validation, confirmed to be essential for HSPC development in zebrafish and for maintenance of human HSCs. Taken together, our results not only identify a number of novel regulatory genes and pathways essential for HSPC development but also serve as valuable resource for directed differentiation of therapy grade HSPCs using human pluripotent stem cells.
Project description:Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are responsible for the life-long production of the blood system and are pivotal cells in hematologic transplantation therapies. During mouse and human development, the first HSCs are produced in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros region. Subsequent to this emergence, HSCs are found in other anatomical sites of the mouse conceptus. While the mouse placenta contains abundant HSCs at midgestation, little is known concerning whether HSCs or hematopoietic progenitors are present and supported in the human placenta during development. In this study we show, over a range of developmental times including term, that the human placenta contains hematopoietic progenitors and HSCs. Moreover, stromal cell lines generated from human placenta at several developmental time points are pericyte-like cells and support human hematopoiesis. Immunostaining of placenta sections during development localizes hematopoietic cells in close contact with pericytes/perivascular cells. Thus, the human placenta is a potent hematopoietic niche throughout development.
Project description:Despite two decades of studies documenting the in vitro blood-forming potential of murine embryonic stem cells (ESCs), achieving stable long-term blood engraftment of ESC-derived hematopoietic stem cells in irradiated mice has proven difficult. We have exploited the Cdx-Hox pathway, a genetic program important for blood development, to enhance the differentiation of ESCs along the hematopoietic lineage. Using an embryonic stem cell line engineered with tetracycline-inducible Cdx4, we demonstrate that ectopic Cdx4 expression promotes hematopoietic mesoderm specification, increases hematopoietic progenitor formation, and, together with HoxB4, enhances multilineage hematopoietic engraftment of lethally irradiated adult mice. Clonal analysis of retroviral integration sites confirms a common stem cell origin of lymphoid and myeloid populations in engrafted primary and secondary mice. These data document the cardinal stem cell features of self-renewal and multilineage differentiation of ESC-derived hematopoietic stem cells.
Project description:GATA2 deficiency is an inherited or sporadic genetic disorder characterized by distinct cellular deficiency, bone marrow failure, various infections, lymphedema, pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, and predisposition to myeloid malignancies resulting from heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the GATA2 gene. How heterozygous GATA2 mutations affect human hematopoietic development or cause characteristic cellular deficiency and eventual hypoplastic myelodysplastic syndrome or leukemia is not fully understood. We used induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to study hematopoietic development in the setting of GATA2 deficiency. We performed hematopoietic differentiation using iPSC derived from patients with GATA2 deficiency and examined their ability to commit to mesoderm, hemogenic endothelial precursors (HEPs), hematopoietic stem progenitor cells, and natural killer (NK) cells. Patient-derived iPSC, either derived from fibroblasts/marrow stromal cells or peripheral blood mononuclear cells, did not show significant defects in committing to mesoderm, HEP, hematopoietic stem progenitor, or NK cells. However, HEP derived from GATA2-mutant iPSC showed impaired maturation toward hematopoietic lineages. Hematopoietic differentiation was nearly abolished from homozygous GATA2 knockout (KO) iPSC lines and markedly reduced in heterozygous KO lines compared with isogenic controls. On the other hand, correction of the mutated GATA2 allele in patient-specific iPSC did not alter hematopoietic development consistently in our model. GATA2 deficiency usually manifests within the first decade of life. Newborn and infant hematopoiesis appears to be grossly intact; therefore, our iPSC model indeed may resemble the disease phenotype, suggesting that other genetic, epigenetic, or environmental factors may contribute to bone marrow failure in these patients following birth. However, heterogeneity of PSC-based models and limitations of in vitro differentiation protocol may limit the possibility to detect subtle cellular phenotypes.
Project description:In the hematopoietic system, Notch signaling specifies T cell lineage fate, in part through negative regulation of B cell and myeloid lineage development. However, we unexpectedly observed the development of megakaryocytes when using heterotypic cocultures of hematopoietic stem cells with OP9 cells expressing Delta-like1, but not with parental OP9 cells. This effect was abrogated by inhibition of Notch signaling either with gamma-secretase inhibitors or by expression of the dominant-negative Mastermind-like1. The importance of Notch signaling for megakaryopoietic development in vivo was confirmed by using mutant alleles that either activate or inhibit Notch signaling. These findings indicate that Notch is a positive regulator of megakaryopoiesis and plays a more complex role in cell-fate decisions among myeloid progenitors than previously appreciated.
Project description:RUNX1 (also known as acute myeloid leukemia 1) is an essential regulator of hematopoiesis and has multiple isoforms arising from differential splicing and utilization of two promoters. We hypothesized that the rare Runx1c isoform has a distinct role in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs).We have characterized the expression pattern of Runx1c in mouse embryos and human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived embryoid bodies using in situ hybridization and expression levels in mouse and human HSCs by real-time polymerase chain reaction. We then determined the functional effects of Runx1c using enforced retroviral overexpression in mouse HSCs.We observed differential expression profiles of RUNX1 isoforms during hematopoietic differentiation of hESCs. The RUNX1a and RUNX1b isoforms were expressed consistently throughout hematopoietic differentiation, whereas the RUNX1c isoform was only expressed at the time of emergence of definitive HSCs. RUNX1c was also expressed in the AGM region of E10.5 to E11.5 mouse embryos, the region where definitive HSCs arise. These observations suggested that the RUNX1c isoform may be important for the specification or function of definitive HSCs. However, using retroviral overexpression to study the effect of RUNX1 isoforms on HSCs in a gain-of-function system, no discernable functional difference could be identified between RUNX1 isoforms in mouse HSCs. Overexpression of both RUNX1b and RUNX1c induced quiescence in mouse HSCs in vitro and in vivo.Although the divergent expression profiles of Runx1 isoforms during development suggest specific roles for these proteins at different stages of HSC maturation, we could not detect an important functional distinction in adult mouse HSCs using our assay systems.