P2 receptors are functionally diverse cell surface receptors that bind nucleotides adenine (ADP, ATP) and uridine (UDP, UTP). P2Y receptors are metabotropic G protein-coupled receptors that mediate vascular and immune responses to injury. We previously reported the differential expression cloning of the UTP-glycoconjugate receptor, P2Y14 from quiescent primary human bone marrow (BM) hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Using P2Y14−/− mice, we now report that the presence of P2Y14 protects HSCs from apoptosis in the face of cytotoxic chemical injury. P2Y14 null mice develop normally and showed no significant differences in peripheral blood cell counts, BM cellularity or the absolute number/proportion of lin−cKit+Sca1+ (LKS+) and CD34−/lowLKS+ (34-LKS+) cells compared to their wildtype littermates. Similarly, cell cycle status, in vitro colony-forming cell (CFC) capacity, in vivo homing and in vivo colony-forming unit-spleen (CFU-S) function were unaffected. Since the role of nucleotide receptors in injury response have been reported, we examined BM HSC content following IP injection of 200mg/kg cyclophosphamide (CTX) and found that the relative protection of LKS+ and 34-LKS+ cells from CTX-induced apoptosis was lost in P2Y14 null animals (WT LKS+: 12.7% AnnexinV+7AAD-, KO LKS+ 36.8% AnnexinV+7AAD−, n=5 each, p=0.004; WT 34-LKS+: 13.2% AnnexinV+7AAD−, KO LKS+ 38.7% AnnexinV+7AAD−, n=5 each, p=0.007). In addition, the kinetics of long-term myeloid recovery after a single injection of 5-Fluorouracil (5FU) IP 150mg/kg was significantly more accentuated in P2Y14 null animals, with significantly greater peripheral blood Gr-1+ cell count at days 21–56 post-injection (n=10 each, p=0.009). When sorted BM LKS+ cells were exposed in vitro to UDP-glucose, a putative P2Y14 ligand known to be released from cytoplasm during cellular injury, BrDU incorporation was significantly reduced (n=3 each, p<0.05), suggesting that P2Y14 activation with UDP-glucose reduces HSC cell cycle entry in response to injury. While these in vivo models examine HSC response to injury to both BM microenvironment and the HSCs themselves, when uninjured HSCs were reintroduced into injured microenvironment in the setting of hematopoietic reconstitution following lethal irradiation, P2Y14 null BM HSCs performed better in serial transplantation (n=10 each, p<0.01 for primary, secondary and tertiary transplantation), showing greater reconstitution and self-renewal capacity compared with WT littermates. From these findings, we propose that P2Y14 protects HSCs from chemical injury by acting as a sensor for metabolic “danger signal” in the form of released intracellular UDP-glucose during acute chemical injury in the BM and maintaining relative resistance of HSCs to toxin-induced apoptosis by restricting cell cycle entry. In the setting of injury exclusive to BM microenvironment (HSC transplantation), P2Y14 null HSCs, unable to detect UDP-glucose, respond to highly proliferative environment following lethal irradiation, resulting in greater reconstitution and self-renewal.

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