CXCL12/CXCR4 Signaling Enhances Human PSC-Derived Hematopoietic Progenitor Function and Overcomes Early In Vivo Transplantation Failure
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Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) generate hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) but fail to engraft xenograft models used to detect adult/somatic hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from donors. Recent progress to derive hPSC-derived HSCs has relied on cell-autonomous forced expression of transcription factors; however, the relationship of bone marrow to transplanted cells remains unknown. Here, we quantified a failure of hPSC-HPCs to survive even 24 hr post transplantation. Across several hPSC-HPC differentiation methodologies, we identified the lack of CXCR4 expression and function. Ectopic CXCR4 conferred CXCL12 ligand-dependent signaling of hPSC-HPCs in biochemical assays and increased migration/chemotaxis, hematopoietic progenitor capacity, and survival and proliferation following in vivo transplantation. This was accompanied by a transcriptional shift of hPSC-HPCs toward somatic/adult sources, but this approach failed to produce long-term HSC xenograft reconstitution. Our results reveal that networks involving CXCR4 should be targeted to generate putative HSCs with in vivo function from hPSCs.
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