The microenvironment (niche) cues hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) receives play an important role in the regulation of their decisions between self-renewal and differentiation. However, the cellular constitution of niches remains poorly understood. We identified three adult progenitor populations near the endosteum based on differential expression of cell surface markers, including CD166, CD146 and Sca1. Upon co-transplantation with fetal skeletal progenitors, Sca1+ progenitors can give rise to CD146+ and CD166+ stroma and phenotypically CXCL12 abundant reticular (CAR) cells in marrow. CD146+ and CD166+ progenitors, on the other hand, form bone without marrow cavity. Multiplex single cell qRT-PCR reveals all three progenitors expressed high levels of genes involved in HSC maintenance. In vitro co-culture assay demonstrated that all three progenitors could preserve HSC long-term multi-lineages reconstitution capability. Furthermore, disruption of stem cell factor (SCF) production in Sca1+ progenitor severely limits its ability to support HSC both in culture condition and after transplantation. Our results suggested that Sca1+, CD146+, and CD166+ mesenchymal progenitors and their progeny collaborate to provide supportive environment for hematopoiesis.
No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.