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(1/116) The developmental program of human dendritic cells is operated independently of conventional myeloid and lymphoid pathways.

Two distinct dendritic cell (DC) subsets, conventional DCs (cDCs) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs), have been shown to develop via either the myeloid or the lymphoid pathway in murine hematopoiesis. Lineage-specific phenotypes or functions of "myeloid" and "lymphoid" DCs, however, still remain elusive. Furthermore, such analysis has been particularly difficult in humans, due to lack of an assay system appropriate for the analysis of human stem and progenitor cell differentiation. Here, using a highly efficient xenotransplantation model, we extensively analyze the origin and the molecular signature of human DCs. Purified human common myeloid progenitors (CMPs) and common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs) were intravenously transplanted into nonobese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficiency (NOD-scid)/IL2rgamma(null) newborn mice. CMPs and CLPs displayed significant expansion in the xenogeneic host, and human cDC and pDC progeny were isolatable. Strikingly, each human DC subset possessed indistinguishable expression patterns of surface phenotype and gene transcripts regardless of their CMP or CLP origin, even at the genome-wide level. Thus, cDC and pDC normally develop after cells have committed to the myeloid or the lymphoid lineage in human hematopoiesis, while their transcriptional signatures are well preserved irrespective of their lineage origin. We propose that human DCs use unique and flexible developmental programs that cannot be categorized into the conventional myeloid or lymphoid pathway.  (+info)

(2/116) Increased TSLP availability restores T- and B-cell compartments in adult IL-7 deficient mice.

Interleukin 7 (IL-7) plays a crucial role in adult lymphopoiesis, while in fetal life its effect can be partially compensated by TSLP. Whether adult hematopoietic progenitor cells are unresponsive to TSLP or whether TSLP is less available in adult microenvironments is still a matter of debate. Here, we show that increased TSLP availability through transgene (Tg) expression fully restored lymphopoiesis in IL-7-deficient mice: it rescued B-cell development, increased thymic and splenic cellularities, and restored double-negative (DN) thymocytes, alphabeta and gammadelta T-cell generation, and all peripheral lymphoid compartments. Analysis of bone marrow chimeras demonstrated that hematopoietic progenitor cells from adult wild-type mice efficiently differentiated toward B- and T-cell lineages in lethally irradiated IL-7 deficient mice provided TSLP Tg was expressed in these mice. In vitro, TSLP promoted the differentiation of uncommitted adult bone marrow progenitors toward B and T lineages and the further differentiation of DN1 and DN2 thymocytes. Altogether, our results show that adult hematopoietic cells are TSLP responsive and that TSLP can sustain long-term adult lymphopoiesis.  (+info)

(3/116) The aged thymus shows normal recruitment of lymphohematopoietic progenitors but has defects in thymic epithelial cells.

Aging is associated with reduced numbers of all thymocyte sub-populations, including early T-cell progenitors. However, it is unclear if this is due to inadequate recruitment of lymphohematopoietic progenitor cells (LPCs) to the aged thymus or to abnormal development of T cells within the thymus. We found that LPCs from young mice were recruited equally well to the thymi of young or aged mice and that thymic stromal cells (TSCs) from young and old mice expressed similar levels of P-selectin and CCL25, which are believed to mediate recruitment of LPCs to the adult thymus. However, the number of recruited thymocytes in old thymus was markedly reduced after two weeks, indicating that T-cell development or proliferation is defective in the aged thymus. We also found that LPCs from aged and young mice have similar capacities to seed a fetal thymus that was transplanted under the kidney capsule. Thymic epithelial cells (TECs) in aged mice had lower proliferative capacity and higher rate of apoptosis, compared with findings in young animals. In addition, immunofluorescence staining with antibodies to cortical and medullary TECs revealed that aged thymi had a disorganized thymic stromal architecture, combined with reduced cellularity of the medulla, and apoptosis of thymocyte sub-populations in the medullary microenvironment was increased, compared with that in young mice. We conclude that aging does not impair recruitment of LPCs to the thymus, but is characterized by abnormalities in thymic epithelial architecture, especially medullary TEC function that may provide sub-optimal support for thymic development of LPCs.  (+info)

(4/116) Cbfbeta-SMMHC impairs differentiation of common lymphoid progenitors and reveals an essential role for RUNX in early B-cell development.

The core-binding factor (CBF)-associated leukemia fusion protein CBFbeta-SMMHC impairs myeloid and lymphoid differentiation. By inhibiting RUNX function, the fusion oncoprotein predisposes specifically to acute myeloid leukemia in both patients and mouse models. We have shown that Cbfbeta-SMMHC expression leads to a sustained reduction of circulating B lymphocytes in the mouse. In this study, we demonstrate that the activation of Cbfbeta-SMMHC reduces pre-pro-B cells approximately 3-fold and pre-B cells more than 10-fold and that this differentiation block is cell-autonomous. The reduction of pre-pro-B cells coincided with an increase in apoptosis in this population. The number of common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs) were not affected; however, the expression of critical early B-cell factors Ebf1, Tcfe2a, and Pax5 was significantly reduced. In addition, Cbfbeta-SMMHC reduced Rag1 and Rag2 expression and impaired V(D)J recombination in the CLPs. Furthermore, CLPs expressing Cbfbeta-SMMHC also show inhibition of B cell-specific genes Cd79a, Igll1, VpreB1, and Blk. These results demonstrate that CBF/RUNX function is essential for the function of CLPs, the survival of pre-pro-B cells, and the establishment of a B lineage-specific transcriptional program. This study also provides a mechanistic basis for the myeloid-lineage bias of CBFbeta-SMMHC-associated leukemia.  (+info)

(5/116) Identification of distinct prognostic subgroups in low- and intermediate-1-risk myelodysplastic syndromes by flow cytometry.

The World Health Organization (WHO) classification contributes to refined classification and prognostication of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs). Flow cytometry might add significantly to diagnostic and prognostic criteria. Our analysis of bone marrow samples from 50 patients with MDS showed aberrant expression of differentiation antigens in the myelomonocytic lineage. This also accounted for refractory anemia (RA) with or without ringed sideroblasts (RS), indicating multilineage dysplasia. In 38% of patients, CD34(+) myeloid blasts expressed CD5, CD7, or CD56. Flow cytometry data were translated into a numerical MDS flow-score. Flow-scores increased significantly from RA with or without RS, refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia (RCMD) with or without RS up to refractory anemia with excess of blasts-1 (RAEB-1) and RAEB-2. No significant differences were observed between WHO cytogenetic subgroups. Flow-scores were highly heterogeneous within International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) subgroups. Patients in progression to advanced MDS or acute myeloid leukemia had a significantly higher flow-score compared with non-transfusion-dependent patients. In 60% of patients with transfusion dependency or progressive disease, myeloid blasts expressed CD7 or CD56, in contrast to only 9% of non-transfusion-dependent patients. Moreover, all patients with pure RA with or without RS with aberrant myeloid blasts showed an adverse clinical course. In conclusion, flow cytometry in MDS identified aberrancies in the myelomonocytic lineage not otherwise determined by cytomorphology. In addition, flow cytometry identified patients at risk for transfusion dependency and/or progressive disease independent of known risk groups, which might have impact on treatment decisions and the prognostic scoring system in the near future.  (+info)

(6/116) Constitutive Notch signalling promotes CD4 CD8 thymocyte differentiation in the absence of the pre-TCR complex, by mimicking pre-TCR signals.

Notch1 signalling is essential for the commitment of multipotent lymphocyte precursors towards the alphabeta T-cell lineage and plays an important role in regulating beta-selection in CD4(-)CD8(-) double-negative (DN) thymocytes. However, the role played by Notch in promoting the development of CD4(+)CD8(+) double-positive (DP) thymocytes is poorly characterized. Here, we demonstrate that the introduction of a constitutively active Notch1 (ICN1) construct into RAG(-/-) lymphocyte precursors resulted in the generation of DP thymocytes in in vitro T-cell culture systems. Notably, developmental rescue was dependent not only on the presence of an intact Notch1 RAM domain but also on Delta-like signals, as ICN1-induced DP development in RAG(-/-) thymocytes occurred within an intact thymus or in OP9-DL1 co-cultures, but not in OP9-control co-cultures. Interestingly, ICN1 expression in SLP-76(-/-) precursors resulted in only a minimal developmental rescue to the immature CD8(+) single-positive stage, suggesting that Notch is utilizing the same signalling pathway as the pre-TCR complex. In support of this, ICN1 introduction resulted in the activation of the ERK-MAPK-signalling cascade in RAG(-/-) thymocytes. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that constitutive Notch signalling can bypass beta-selection during early T-cell development by inducing pre-TCR-like signals within a T-cell-promoting environment.  (+info)

(7/116) The Y-box binding protein YB-1 is associated with progressive disease and mediates survival and drug resistance in multiple myeloma.

Current knowledge about molecular mechanisms underlying disease progression and drug resistance in multiple myeloma (MM) is still limited. Here, we analyzed the potential pathogenetic role of the Y-box binding protein YB-1 in MM. YB-1 is a member of the cold-shock domain protein superfamily and involved in various cellular functions such as proliferation. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that neither normal bone marrow (BM) plasma cells (PCs), premalignant PCs of patients with monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS), nor MM cells with a mature morphology showed expression of YB-1 in situ. In contrast, YB-1 was strongly expressed in situ in normal PC precursor blasts as well as in a MM subset and in vitro in all of the evaluated MM cell lines. The YB-1-expressing MM cells were characterized by an immature morphology and a highly proliferative phenotype as defined by Ki 67 expression. We observed that siRNA-mediated knockdown of YB-1 decreased proliferation and induced apoptosis in MM cells even in the presence of BM stromal cells. Furthermore, we found that overexpression of YB-1 mediated resistance toward doxorubicin-induced apoptosis in MM cells. Thus, YB-1 contributes to disease progression, survival, and drug resistance in MM and might therefore provide an attractive therapeutic target.  (+info)

(8/116) Pregnancy allows the transfer and differentiation of fetal lymphoid progenitors into functional T and B cells in mothers.

T lymphocytes of fetal origin found in maternal circulation after gestation have been reported as a possible cause for autoimmune diseases. During gestation, mothers acquire CD34+CD38+ cells of fetal origin that persist decades. In this study, we asked whether fetal T and B cells could develop from these progenitors in the maternal thymus and bone marrow during and after gestation. RAG-/--deficient female mice (Ly5.2) were mated to congenic wild-type Ly5.1 mice (RAG+/+). Fetal double-positive T cells (CD4+CD8+) with characteristic TCR and IL-7R expression patterns could be recovered in maternal thymus during the resulting pregnancies. We made similar observations in the thymus of immunocompetent mothers. Such phenomenon was observed overall in 12 of 68 tested mice compared with 0 of 51 controls (p=0.001). T cells could also be found in maternal spleen and produced IFN-gamma in the presence of an allogenic or an Ag-specific stimulus. Similarly, CD19+IgM+ fetal B cells as well as plasma Igs could be found in maternal RAG-/- bone marrow and spleen after similar matings. Our results suggest that during gestation mothers acquire fetal lymphoid progenitors that develop into functional T cells. This fetal cell microchimerism may have a direct impact on maternal health.  (+info)