Upon intravenous transplantation, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) can home to specialized niches, yet most HSCs fail to engraft unless recipients are subjected to toxic preconditioning. We provide evidence that, aside from immune barriers, donor HSC engraftment is restricted by occupancy of appropriate niches by host HSCs. Administration of ACK2, an antibody that blocks c-kit function, led to the transient removal of >98% of endogenous HSCs in immunodeficient mice. Subsequent transplantation of these mice with donor HSCs led to chimerism levels of up to 90%. Extrapolation of these methods to humans may enable mild but effective conditioning regimens for transplantation.
Mature blood cells develop from multipotent hematopoietic stem cells through a series of sequential intermediates in which the developmental potential for particular blood lineages is progressively extinguished. We previously reported the identification of one of these developmental intermediates, the common lymphoid progenitor (CLP), which can give rise to T cells, B cells, dendritic cells (DCs), and natural killer cells (NKs), but lacks myeloid and erythroid potential. Recently, several studies have suggested that the T-cell and DC potential of CLP is limited or absent, and/or that CLP contains significant myeloid potential. Here, we show that the originally identified CLP population can be divided into functionally distinct subsets based on the expression of the tyrosine kinase receptor, Flk2. The Flk2(+) subset contains robust in vivo and in vitro T-cell, B-cell, DC, and NK potential, but lacks myeloid potential and, therefore, represents an oligopotent, lymphoid-restricted progenitor. This population of cells does not appear to be B cell-biased and robustly reconstitutes both B and T lineages in vivo, consistent with its being a physiologic progenitor of both of these subsets. Thus, Flk2 expression defines a homogeneous, readily obtainable subset of bone marrow CLP that is completely lymphoid-committed and can differentiate equivalently well into both B and T lineages.
This review focuses on the genomics of mouse hematopoiesis, but also draws parallels to other systems and discusses issues common to the analysis of rare populations such as stem cells. As examples from the mouse blood forming system are used to illustrate several points, the authors first give a brief introduction to mouse hematopoiesis as a model system. We review the multiple microarray analyses that have been performed on various mouse hematopoietic subpopulations and comment on both technical and biological aspects of such experiments. The concept of stemness is discussed, and the importance of biological function of gene products, protein-protein interactions and molecular pathways highlighted. Finally, the authors discuss some major unresolved issues in hematopoiesis and discuss the potential uses of future microarray analysis as well as other genomic and functional approaches that might prove useful to further our understanding of hematopoiesis and other stem cell systems.
Histocompatibility in the basal chordate Botryllus schlosseri is controlled by the polymorphisms of a single gene: the fuhc. A polymorphic candidate receptor (fester) appeared to play roles in both initiating the reaction and discriminating between fuhc alleles. Here we report the characterization of a related protein, uncle fester. uncle fester is not polymorphic, and although coexpressed with fester, has different functional properties. Loss-of-function studies demonstrate that uncle fester was required for incompatible reactions but has no role in interactions between compatible individuals. Furthermore, stimulation with monoclonal antibodies could initiate a rejection phenotype on a single colony, and in both assays the severity of the rejection could be manipulated. These findings suggest that allorecognition in Botryllus consists of independent pathways that control compatible and incompatible outcomes that are integrated within the interacting cells, and may provide insight into basal processes conserved in allorecognition responses throughout the metazoa.
Memory B cell responses are more rapid and of greater magnitude than are primary Ab responses. The mechanisms by which these secondary responses are eventually attenuated remain unknown. We demonstrate that the transcription factor ZBTB32 limits the rapidity and duration of Ab recall responses. ZBTB32 is highly expressed by mouse and human memory B cells but not by their naive counterparts. Zbtb32(-/-) mice mount normal primary Ab responses to T-dependent Ags. However, Zbtb32(-/-) memory B cell-mediated recall responses occur more rapidly and persist longer than do control responses. Microarray analyses demonstrate that Zbtb32(-/-) secondary bone marrow plasma cells display elevated expression of genes that promote cell cycle progression and mitochondrial function relative to wild-type controls. BrdU labeling and adoptive transfer experiments confirm more rapid production and a cell-intrinsic survival advantage of Zbtb32(-/-) secondary plasma cells relative to wild-type counterparts. ZBTB32 is therefore a novel negative regulator of Ab recall responses.