Remyelination is a regenerative process in the central nervous system (CNS) that produces new myelin sheaths from adult stem cells. The decline in remyelination that occurs with advancing age poses a significant barrier to therapy in the CNS, particularly for long-term demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Here we show that remyelination of experimentally-induced demyelination is enhanced in old mice exposed to a youthful systemic milieu through heterochronic parabiosis. Restored remyelination in old animals involves recruitment to the repairing lesions of blood-derived monocytes from the young parabiotic partner, and preventing this recruitment partially inhibits rejuvenation of remyelination. These data suggest that enhanced remyelinating activity requires both youthful monocytes and other factors, and that remyelination-enhancing therapies targeting endogenous cells can be effective throughout life.
Satellite cells reside beneath the basal lamina of skeletal muscle fibers and include cells that act as precursors for muscle growth and repair. Although they share a common anatomical localization and typically are considered a homogeneous population, satellite cells actually exhibit substantial heterogeneity. We used cell surface marker expression to purify from the satellite cell pool a distinct population of skeletal muscle precursors (SMPs) that function as muscle stem cells. When engrafted into muscle of dystrophin-deficient mdx mice, purified SMPs contributed to up to 94% of myofibers, restoring dystrophin expression and significantly improving muscle histology and contractile function. Transplanted SMPs also entered the satellite cell compartment, renewing the endogenous stem cell pool and participating in subsequent rounds of injury repair. Together, these studies indicate the presence in adult skeletal muscle of prospectively-isolatable muscle-forming stem cells and directly demonstrate the efficacy of myogenic stem cell transplant for treating muscle degenerative disease.
Integrative organ crosstalk regulates key aspects of energy homeostasis, and its dysregulation may underlie metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes. To test the hypothesis that crosstalk between the liver and pancreatic islets modulates β cell growth in response to insulin resistance, we used the liver-specific insulin receptor knockout (LIRKO) mouse, a unique model that exhibits dramatic islet hyperplasia. Using complementary in vivo parabiosis and transplantation assays, as well as in vitro islet culture approaches, we demonstrate that humoral, nonneural, non-cell-autonomous factor(s) induces β cell proliferation in LIRKO mice. Furthermore, we report that a hepatocyte-derived factor(s) stimulates mouse and human β cell proliferation in ex vivo assays, independent of ambient glucose and insulin levels. These data implicate the liver as a critical source of β cell growth factor(s) in insulin-resistant states.
Calorie restriction (CR) extends lifespan and ameliorates age-related pathologies in most species studied; yet the mechanisms underlying these effects remain unclear. Using mouse skeletal muscle as a model, we show that CR acts in part by enhancing the function of tissue-specific stem cells. Even short-term CR significantly enhanced stem cell availability and activity in the muscle of young and old animals, in concert with an increase in mitochondrial abundance and induction of conserved metabolic and longevity regulators. Moreover, CR enhanced endogenous muscle repair and CR initiated in either donor or recipient animals improved the contribution of donor cells to regenerating muscle following transplant. These studies indicate that metabolic factors play a critical role in regulating stem cell function and that this regulation can influence the efficacy of recovery from injury and the engraftment of transplanted cells.
Suboptimal nutrition during prenatal and early postnatal development is associated with increased risk for type 2 diabetes during adult life. A hallmark of such diabetes risk is altered body composition, including reduced lean mass and increased adiposity. Since stem cell number and activity are important determinants of muscle mass, modulation of perinatal nutrition could alter stem cell number/function, potentially mediating developmentally programmed reductions in muscle mass. Skeletal muscle precursors (SMP) were purified from muscle of mice subjected to prenatal undernutrition and/or early postnatal high-fat diet (HFD)—experimental models that are both associated with obesity and diabetes risk. SMP number was determined by flow cytometry, proliferative capacity measured in vitro, and regenerative capacity of these cells determined in vivo after muscle freeze injury. Prenatally undernutrition (UN) mice showed significantly reduced SMP frequencies [Control (C) 4.8%±0.3% (% live cells) vs. UN 3.2%±0.4%, P=0.015] at 6 weeks; proliferative capacity was unaltered. Reduced SMP in UN was associated with 32% decrease in regeneration after injury (C 16%±3% of injured area vs. UN 11%±2%; P<0.0001). SMP frequency was also reduced in HFD-fed mice (chow 6.4%±0.6% vs. HFD 4.7%±0.4%, P=0.03), and associated with 44% decreased regeneration (chow 16%±2.7% vs. HFD 9%±2.2%; P<0.0001). Prenatal undernutrition was additive with postnatal HFD. Thus, both prenatal undernutrition and postnatal overnutrition reduce myogenic stem cell frequency and function, indicating that developmentally established differences in muscle-resident stem cell populations may provoke reductions in muscle mass and repair and contribute to diabetes risk.
Skeletal muscle is a highly specialized tissue composed of non-dividing, multi-nucleated muscle fibres that contract to generate force in a controlled and directed manner. Skeletal muscle is formed during embryogenesis from a subset of muscle precursor cells, which generate both differentiated muscle fibres and specialized muscle-forming stem cells known as satellite cells. Satellite cells remain associated with muscle fibres after birth and are responsible for muscle growth and repair throughout life. Failure in satellite cell function can lead to delayed, impaired or failed recovery after muscle injury, and such failures become increasingly prominent in cases of progressive muscle disease and in old age. Recent progress in the isolation of muscle satellite cells and elucidation of the cellular and molecular mediators controlling their activity indicate that these cells represent promising therapeutic targets. Such satellite cell-based therapies may involve either direct cell replacement or development of drugs that enhance endogenous muscle repair mechanisms. Here, we discuss recent breakthroughs in understanding both the cell intrinsic and extrinsic regulators that determine the formation and function of muscle satellite cells, as well as promising paths forward to realizing their full therapeutic potential.
satellite cell; muscular dystrophy; sarcopenia; muscle degeneration; myogenesis
Several studies have reported that bone marrow (BM) cells may give rise to neurons and astrocytes in vitro and in vivo. To further test this hypothesis, we analyzed for incorporation of neural cell types expressing donor markers in normal or injured brains of irradiated mice reconstituted with whole BM or single, purified c-kit+Thy1.1loLin−Sca-1+ (KTLS) hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), and of unirradiated parabionts with surgically anastomosed vasculature. Each model showed low-level parenchymal engraftment of donor-marker+ cells with 96–100% immunoreactivity for panhematopoietic (CD45) or microglial (Iba1 or Mac1) lineage markers in all cases studied. Other than one arborizing structure in the olfactory bulb of one BM-transplanted animal, possibly representing a neuronal or glial cell process, we found no donor-marker–expressing astrocytes or non-Purkinje neurons among >10,000 donor-marker+ cells from 21 animals. These data strongly suggest that HSCs and their progeny maintain lineage fidelity in the brain and do not adopt neural cell fates with any measurable frequency.
Reprogramming of somatic cells into inducible pluripotent stem cells generally occurs at low efficiency, although what limits reprogramming of particular cell types is poorly understood. Recent data suggest that the differentiation status of the cell targeted for reprogramming may influence its susceptibility to reprogramming as well as the differentiation potential of the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that are derived from it. To assess directly the influence of lineage commitment on iPS cell derivation and differentiation, we evaluated reprogramming in adult stem cell and mature cell populations residing in skeletal muscle. Our data using clonal assays and a second-generation inducible reprogramming system indicate that stem cells found in mouse muscle, including resident satellite cells and mesenchymal progenitors, reprogram with significantly greater efficiency than their more differentiated daughters (myoblasts and fibroblasts). However, in contrast to previous reports, we find no evidence of biased differentiation potential among iPS cells derived from myogenically committed cells. These data support the notion that adult stem cells reprogram more efficiently than terminally differentiated cells, and argue against the suggestion that “epigenetic memory” significantly influences the differentiation potential of iPS cells derived from distinct somatic cell lineages in skeletal muscle.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have been derived from various somatic cell populations through ectopic expression of defined factors. It remains unclear whether iPSCs generated from different cell types are molecularly and functionally similar. Here we show that iPSCs obtained from mouse fibroblasts, hematopoietic and myogenic cells exhibit distinct transcriptional and epigenetic patterns. Moreover, we demonstrate that cellular origin influences the in vitro differentiation potentials of iPSCs into embryoid bodies and different hematopoietic cell types. Notably, continuous passaging of iPSCs largely attenuates these differences. Our results suggest that early-passage iPSCs retain a transient epigenetic memory of their somatic cells of origin, which manifests as differential gene expression and altered differentiation capacity. These observations may influence ongoing attempts to use iPSCs for disease modeling and could also be exploited in potential therapeutic applications to enhance differentiation into desired cell lineages.
To determine whether insulin action on endothelial cells promotes or protects against atherosclerosis, we generated apolipoprotein E null mice in which the insulin receptor gene was intact or conditionally deleted in vascular endothelial cells. Insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, plasma lipids, and blood pressure were not different between the two groups, but atherosclerotic lesion size was more than 2-fold higher in mice lacking endothelial insulin signaling. Endothelium-dependent vasodilation was impaired and endothelial cell VCAM-1 expression was increased in these animals. Adhesion of mononuclear cells to endothelium in vivo was increased 4-fold compared with controls, but reduced to below control values by a VCAM-1 blocking antibody. These results provide definitive evidence that loss of insulin signaling in endothelium, in the absence of competing systemic risk factors, accelerates atherosclerosis. Therefore, improving insulin sensitivity in the endothelium of patients with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes may prevent cardiovascular complications.
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) are rare, multipotent cells capable of generating all specialized cells of the blood system. Appropriate regulation of HSC quiescence is thought to be crucial to maintain their lifelong function; however, the molecular pathways controlling stem cell quiescence remain poorly characterized. Likewise, the molecular events driving leukemogenesis remain elusive. In this study, we compare the gene expression profiles of steady-state bone marrow HSC to non-self-renewing multipotent progenitors; to HSC treated with mobilizing drugs that expand the HSC pool and induce egress from the marrow; and to leukemic HSC in a mouse model of chronic myelogenous leukemia. By intersecting the resulting lists of differentially regulated genes we identify a subset of molecules that are downregulated in all three circumstances, and thus may be particularly important for the maintenance and function of normal, quiescent HSC. These results identify potential key regulators of HSC and give insights into the clinically important processes of HSC mobilization for transplantation and leukemic development from cancer stem cells.
Pax7 is a key regulator of skeletal muscle stem cells and is required along with Pax3 to generate skeletal muscle precursors. We have identified a collection of genes induced by either Pax3 or Pax7 in C2C12 muscle cells. Two notable Pax3/7 targets are the inhibitory helix-loop-helix (HLH) proteins inhibitor of DNA binding (Id) 2 and Id3, both of which are coordinately expressed with Pax7 in quiescent satellite cells and are induced in quiescent C2C12 myogenic cells after ectopic expression of either Pax3 or Pax7. Ectopic Pax7 activates expression of a luciferase reporter driven by the Id3 promoter, and maximal induction of this reporter requires a conserved Pax7 binding site located upstream of the Id3 gene. Chromatin immunoprecipitation indicated that Pax7 is bound upstream of the Id3 promoter in quiescent satellite cells. In addition, short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of Pax7 expression in cultured satellite cells coordinately decreased both Id2 and Id3 expression. Together, these findings indicate that Id3 is a direct transcriptional target for Pax7 in quiescent satellite cells, and they suggest that Pax7 acts to block premature differentiation of quiescent satellite cells by inducing the expression of Id2 and Id3, which in turn may act to block either the precocious induction of myogenic basic (b)HLH proteins, the activity of myogenic bHLH proteins, or both.
For the inflammation characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis, the relative contribution of mediators produced locally in the synovium versus circulating systemically is unknown. Complement factor C3 is made in rheumatoid synovium and has been proposed to be a crucial driver of inflammation. We have tested, in a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis, whether C3 synthesized within the synovium is important in promoting inflammation.
Radiation bone-marrow chimeras between normal and C3 -/- mice were constructed in order to generate animals that expressed or lacked expression of C3 only in hematopoietic cells. Parabiotic mice were made by surgically linking C3 -/- mice to irradiated wild-type mice to obtain animals having C3 only in the circulation. Arthritis was induced by injection of serum from arthritic K/B×N mice.
In bone-marrow chimeras, synthesis of C3 by radioresistant cells was necessary and sufficient to confer susceptibility to serum-transferred arthritis. Parabionts having C3 only in the circulation remained sensitive to arthritis induction, and the cartilage of these arthritic mice contained deposits of C3.
In a mouse model wherein the alternative pathway of complement activation is critical to the induction of arthritis by autoantibodies, circulating C3 was necessary and sufficient for arthritis induction.
For the inflammation characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis, the relative contribution of mediators produced locally in the synovium versus those circulating systemically is unknown. Complement factor C3 is made in rheumatoid synovium and has been proposed to be a crucial driver of inflammation. The aim of this study was to test, in a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis, whether C3 synthesized within the synovium is important in promoting inflammation.
Radiation bone marrow chimeras between normal and C3−/− mice were constructed in order to generate animals that expressed or lacked expression of C3 only in hematopoietic cells. Parabiotic mice were made by surgically linking C3−/− mice to irradiated wild-type mice to obtain animals having C3 only in the circulation. Arthritis was induced by injection of serum from arthritic K/BxN mice.
In bone marrow chimeras, synthesis of C3 by radioresistant cells was necessary and sufficient to confer susceptibility to serum-transferred arthritis. Parabionts having C3 only in the circulation remained sensitive to arthritis induction, and the cartilage of these arthritic mice contained deposits of C3.
In a mouse model in which the alternative pathway of complement activation is critical to the induction of arthritis by autoantibodies, circulating C3 was necessary and sufficient for arthritis induction.
Constitutive egress of bone marrow (BM)-resident hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) into the blood is a well-established phenomenon, but the ultimate fate and functional relevance of circulating HSPCs is largely unknown. We show that mouse thoracic duct (TD) lymph contains HSPCs that possess short- and long-term multilineage reconstitution capacity. TD-derived HSPCs originate in the BM, enter the blood and traffic to multiple non-lymphoid extramedulary tissues, where they reside for at least 36h until entering draining lymphatics to return to the blood and, eventually, the BM. HSPC egress from extramedullary tissues into lymph depends on sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptors, particularly S1P1. Migratory HSPCs proliferate within extramedullary tissues giving rise to tissue-resident myeloid cells, preferentially dendritic cells. HSPC differentiation is amplified upon exposure to Toll-like receptor agonists. Thus, HSPCs can survey peripheral organs and replenish tissue-resident hematopoietic cells by acting as a source of specialized leukocytes during host defense against pathogens.
Knowledge of the molecular networks controlling the proliferation and fate of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) is essential to understand their function in maintaining blood cell production during normal hematopoiesis and upon clinical transplantation. Using highly purified stem and progenitor cell populations, we define the proliferation index and status of the cell cycle machinery at discrete stages of hematopoietic differentiation and during cytokine-mediated HSC mobilization. We identify distinct sets of cell cycle proteins that specifically associate with differentiation, self-renewal, and maintenance of quiescence in HSC and progenitor cells. Moreover, we describe a striking inequality of function among in vivo cycling and quiescent HSC by demonstrating that their long-term engraftment potential resides predominantly in the G0 fraction. These data provide a direct link between HSC proliferation and function and identify discrete molecular targets in regulating HSC cell fate decisions that could have implications for both the therapeutic use of HSC and the understanding of leukemic transformation.
Although hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) migration into and out of sites of active hematopoiesis is poorly understood, it is a critical process that underlies modern clinical stem cell transplantation and may be important for normal hematopoietic homeostasis. Given the established roles of chemotactic cytokine (chemokine)-directed migration of other leukocyte subsets, the migration of murine HSC to a large panel of CC and CXC chemokines was investigated. HSC migrated only in response to stromal derived factor-1α, the ligand for the CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4). CXCR4 expression by HSC was confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis. Surprisingly, HSC also expressed mRNA for CCR3 and CCR9, although they failed to migrate to the ligands for these receptors. The sharply restricted chemotactic responsiveness of HSC is unique among leukocytes and may be necessary for the specific homing of circulating HSC to bone marrow, as well as for the maintenance of HSC in hematopoietic microenvironments.
chemokines; chemokine receptors; chemotaxis; mobilization; bone marrow
The α1,3-fucosyltransferase, FucT-VII, is crucial for the formation of ligands for all three selectins, and its expression regulates the synthesis of these ligands. Short-term polarized T helper (Th)1, but not Th2 or naive CD4+ T cells, can home to sites of inflammation, but the molecular basis for this difference has remained unclear. Here we show that naive CD4+ T cells do not express FucT-VII and fail to bind vascular selectins. We also show that when CD4+ T cells are activated in the presence of the Th1 polarizing cytokine interleukin (IL)-12, levels of FucT-VII mRNA and binding to E- and P-selectin are significantly augmented. In contrast, activation of CD4+ T cells in the presence of IL-4, a Th2 polarizing cytokine, inhibited FucT-VII expression and binding to vascular selectins. T cell activation upregulated expression of the Core2 transferase, C2GnT, equivalently regardless of the presence or absence of polarizing cytokines. These data indicate that the selective ability of Th1 cells, as opposed to Th2 cells or naive CD4+ T cells, to recognize vascular selectins and home to sites of inflammation is controlled principally by the expression of a single gene, FucT-VII.
selectin; T helper cell type 1 and T helper cell type 2; fucosyltransferase; cytokine; gene expression
The major site of hematopoiesis transitions from the fetal liver to the spleen and bone marrow late in fetal development. To date, experiments have not been performed to evaluate functionally the migration and seeding of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) during this period in ontogeny. It has been proposed that developmentally timed waves of HSCs enter the bloodstream only during distinct windows to seed the newly forming hematopoietic organs. Using competitive reconstitution assays to measure HSC activity, we determined the localization of HSCs in the mid-to-late gestation fetus. We found that multilineage reconstituting HSCs are present at low numbers in the blood at all timepoints measured. Seeding of fetal bone marrow and spleen occurred over several days, possibly while stem cell niches formed. In addition, using dual-chamber migration assays, we determined that like bone marrow HSCs, fetal liver HSCs migrate in response to stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α); however, unlike bone marrow HSCs, the migratory response of fetal liver HSCs to SDF-1α is greatly increased in the presence of Steel factor (SLF), suggesting an important role for SLF in HSC homing to and seeding of the fetal hematopoietic tissues. Together, these data demonstrate that seeding of fetal organs by fetal liver HSCs does not require large fluxes of HSCs entering the fetal bloodstream, and that HSCs constitutively circulate at low levels during the gestational period from 12 to 17 days postconception. Newly forming hematopoietic tissues are seeded gradually by HSCs, suggesting initial seeding is occurring as hematopoietic niches in the spleen and bone marrow form and become capable of supporting HSC self-renewal. We demonstrate that fetal and adult HSCs exhibit specific differences in chemotactic behavior. While both migrate in response to SDF-1α, fetal HSCs also respond significantly to the cytokine SLF. In addition, the combination of SDF-1α and SLF results in substantially enhanced migration of fetal HSCs, leading to migration of nearly all fetal HSCs in this assay. This finding indicates the importance of the combined effects of SLF and SDF-1α in the migration of fetal HSCs, and is, to our knowledge, the first demonstration of a synergistic effect of two chemoattractive agents on HSCs.
New results on the migratory behavior of blood cell precursors in the early embryo might be relevant to bone marrow transplants and other clinical therapies
Myeloid sarcomas are extramedullary accumulations of immature myeloid cells that may present with or without evidence of pathologic involvement of the bone marrow or peripheral blood, and often coincide with or precede a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). A dearth of experimental models has hampered the study of myeloid sarcomas and led us to establish a new system in which tumor induction can be evaluated in an easily accessible non-hematopoietic tissue compartment. Using ex-vivo transduction of oncogenic Kras(G12V) into p16/p19−/− bone marrow cells, we generated transplantable leukemia-initiating cells that rapidly induced tumor formation in the skeletal muscle of immunocompromised NOD.SCID mice. In this model, murine histiocytic sarcomas, equivalent to human myeloid sarcomas, emerged at the injection site 30–50 days after cell implantation and consisted of tightly packed monotypic cells that were CD48+, CD47+ and Mac1+, with low or absent expression of other hematopoietic lineage markers. Tumor cells also infiltrated the bone marrow, spleen and other non-hematopoietic organs of tumor-bearing animals, leading to systemic illness (leukemia) within two weeks of tumor detection. P16/p19−/−; Kras(G12V) myeloid sarcomas were multi-clonal, with dominant clones selected during secondary transplantation. The systemic leukemic phenotypes exhibited by histiocytic sarcoma-bearing mice were nearly identical to those of animals in which leukemia was introduced by intravenous transplantation of the same donor cells. Moreover, murine histiocytic sarcoma could be similarly induced by intramuscular injection of MLL-AF9 leukemia cells. This study establishes a novel, transplantable model of murine histiocytic/myeloid sarcoma that recapitulates the natural progression of these malignancies to systemic disease and indicates a cell autonomous leukemogenic mechanism.
Previous experimental studies to assess the contribution of blood-borne circulating (BBC) cells to cutaneous wound healing have relied on discontinuous pulsing of labeled BBC elements or bone marrow transplant protocols. Such approaches do not permit examination of stable BBC cells that have matured in a physiologically-normal host. We have employed a parabiotic murine model for cutaneous wound healing to evaluate the relative contribution of stable populations of peripheral blood cells expressing the green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgene in otherwise normal animals. Circulating cells (mature and immature) expressing the GFP transgene were easily detected and quantified in wounds of GFP-negative parabiotic twins during all evaluated stages of the healing response. Using multiple antibody probes, the relative contribution of various subsets of BBC cells could be comparatively assessed. In early wounds, some cells expressing mesenchymal epitopes were documented to be of hematopoietic origin, indicating the utility of this model in assessing cell plasticity in the context of tissue regeneration and repair. Application of this approach enables further investigation into the contribution of peripheral blood in normal and abnormal healing responses.
green fluorescent protein (GFP); hematopoietic; parabiotic model; regeneration; transdifferentiation; wound healing