• IL-34 is produced by mTORC1 overactivated osteoclasts and suppresses AML in various preclinical models.

  • TREM2 is a novel receptor for IL-34 to induce myeloid differentiation via inhibiting ERK1/2/Rasal3 signaling.

The bone marrow microenvironment supports leukocyte mobilization and differentiation and controls the development of leukemias, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Here, we found that the development of AML xenotransplants was suppressed in mice with osteoclasts Tsc1 deletion. Tsc1-deficient osteoclasts released a high level of IL-34, which efficiently induced AML cell differentiation and prevented AML progression in various preclinical models. Conversely, AML development was accelerated in IL-34-deficient mice. Interestingly, IL-34 inhibited AML independent of its known receptors, but bound directly to triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2), a key hub of immune signals. TREM2-deficient AML cells and normal myeloid cells were resistant to IL-34 treatment. Mechanistically, IL-34-TREM2 binding rapidly phosphorylated Rasal3 and inactivated ERK1/2 signaling to prevent AML cell proliferation and stimulate differentiation. Furthermore, TREM2 was downregulated in AML patients and associated with a poor prognosis. This study identified TREM2 as a novel receptor for IL-34, indicating a promising strategy for overcoming AML differentiation blockade in AML patients.

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