Despite much work studying ex vivo multipotent stromal cells (MSCs), the identity and characteristics of MSCs in vivo are not well defined. Here, we generated a CD73-EGFP reporter mouse to address these questions and found EGFP+ MSCs in various organs. In vivo, EGFP+ mesenchymal cells were observed in fetal and adult bones at proliferative ossification sites, while in solid organs EGFP+ cells exhibited a perivascular distribution pattern. EGFP+ cells from the bone compartment could be clonally expanded ex vivo from single cells and displayed trilineage differentiation potential. Moreover, in the central bone marrow CD73-EGFP+ specifically labeled sinusoidal endothelial cells, thought to be a critical component of the hematopoietic stem cell niche. Purification and molecular characterization of this CD73-EGFP+ population revealed an endothelial subtype that also displays a mesenchymal signature, highlighting endothelial cell heterogeneity in the marrow. Thus, the CD73-EGFP mouse is a powerful tool for studying MSCs and sinusoidal endothelium.
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.
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are mobilized from niches in the bone marrow (BM) to the blood circulation by the cytokine granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) through complex mechanisms. Among these, signals from the sympathetic nervous system regulate HSC egress via its niche, but how the brain communicates with the BM remains largely unknown. Here we show that muscarinic receptor type-1 (Chrm1) signaling in the hypothalamus promotes G-CSF-elicited HSC mobilization via hormonal priming of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Blockade of Chrm1 in the CNS, but not the periphery, reduces HSC mobilization. Mobilization is impaired in Chrm1-∕- mice and rescued by parabiosis with wild-type mice, suggesting a relay by a blood-borne factor. We have identified the glucocorticoid (GC) hormones as critical for optimal mobilization. Physiological levels of corticosterone promote HSC migration via the GC receptor Nr3c1-dependent signaling and upregulation of actin-organizing molecules. These results uncover long-range regulation of HSC migration emerging from the brain.