Genetic and functional studies underscore the central role of JAK/STAT signaling in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). However, the mechanisms that mediate transformation in MPNs are not fully delineated, and clinically utilized JAK inhibitors have limited ability to reduce disease burden or reverse myelofibrosis. Here we show that MPN progenitor cells are characterized by marked alterations in gene regulation through differential enhancer utilization, and identify nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) signaling as a key pathway activated in malignant and non-malignant cells in MPN. Inhibition of BET bromodomain proteins attenuated NF-κB signaling and reduced cytokine production in vivo. Most importantly, combined JAK/BET inhibition resulted in a marked reduction in the serum levels of inflammatory cytokines, reduced disease burden, and reversed bone marrow fibrosis in vivo.
Myeloid-biased hematopoietic stem cells (MB-HSCs) play critical roles in recovery from injury, but little is known about how they are regulated within the bone marrow niche. Here we describe an auto-/paracrine physiologic circuit that controls quiescence of MB-HSCs and hematopoietic progenitors marked by histidine decarboxylase (Hdc). Committed Hdc+ myeloid cells lie in close anatomical proximity to MB-HSCs and produce histamine, which activates the H2 receptor on MB-HSCs to promote their quiescence and self-renewal. Depleting histamine-producing cells enforces cell cycle entry, induces loss of serial transplant capacity, and sensitizes animals to chemotherapeutic injury. Increasing demand for myeloid cells via lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment specifically recruits MB-HSCs and progenitors into the cell cycle; cycling MB-HSCs fail to revert into quiescence in the absence of histamine feedback, leading to their depletion, while an H2 agonist protects MB-HSCs from depletion after sepsis. Thus, histamine couples lineage-specific physiological demands to intrinsically primed MB-HSCs to enforce homeostasis.