Fate Distribution and Regulatory Role of Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Engineered Hematopoietic Bone Organs

iScience, 2019.

Bourgine PEFritsch K, Pigeot S, Takizawa H, Kunz L, Kokkaliaris KD, Coutu DL, Manz MG, Martin I, Schroeder T.


The generation of humanized ectopic ossicles (hOss) in mice has been proposed as an advanced translational and fundamental model to study the human hematopoietic system. The approach relies on the presence of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) supporting the engraftment of transplanted human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). However, the functional distribution of hMSCs within the humanized microenvironment remains to be investigated. Here, we combined genetic tools and quantitative confocal microscopy to engineer and subsequently analyze hMSCs′ fate and distribution in hOss. Implanted hMSCs reconstituted a humanized environment including osteocytes, osteoblasts, adipocytes, and stromal cells associated with vessels. By imaging full hOss, we identified rare physical interactions between hMSCs and human CD45+/CD34+/CD90+ cells, supporting a functional contact-triggered regulatory role of hMSCs. Our study highlights the importance of compiling quantitative information from humanized organs, to decode the interactions between the hematopoietic and the stromal compartments.

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