Glycogen synthase kinase-3 is an in vivo regulator of hematopoietic stem cell repopulation
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The in vivo regulation of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) function is poorly understood. Here, we show that hematopoietic repopulation can be augmented by administration of a glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) inhibitor to recipient mice transplanted with mouse or human HSCs. GSK-3 inhibitor treatment improved neutrophil and megakaryocyte recovery, recipient survival and resulted in enhanced sustained long-term repopulation. The output of primitive Lin(-)c-Kit(+)Sca-1(+) cells and progenitors from HSCs increased upon GSK-3 inhibitor treatment without altering secondary repopulating ability, suggesting that the HSC pool is maintained while overall hematopoietic reconstitution is increased. GSK-3 inhibitors were found to modulate gene targets of Wnt, Hedgehog and Notch pathways in cells comprising the primitive hematopoietic compartment without affecting mature cells. Our study establishes GSK-3 as a specific in vivo modulator of HSC activity, and suggests that administration of GSK-3 inhibitors may provide a clinical means to directly enhance the repopulating capacity of transplanted HSCs.
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