Inhibition of Canonical Wnt Signaling Promotes Ex Vivo Maintenance and Proliferation of Hematopoietic Stem Cells in Zebrafish

pubmed: wnt1 2022-11-24

Stem Cells. 2022 Sep 26;40(9):831-842. doi: 10.1093/stmcls/sxac044.


The maintenance and proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are tightly regulated by their niches in the bone marrow. The analysis of niche cells or stromal cell lines that can support HSCs has facilitated the finding of novel supporting factors for HSCs. Despite large efforts in the murine bone marrow; however, HSC expansion is still difficult ex vivo, highlighting the need for new approaches to elucidate the molecular elements that regulate HSCs. The zebrafish provides a unique model to study hematopoietic niches as HSCs are maintained in the kidney, allowing for a parallel view of hematopoietic niches over evolution. Here, using a stromal cell line from the zebrafish kidney, zebrafish kidney stromal (ZKS), we uncover that an inhibitor of canonical Wnt signaling, IWR-1-endo, is a potent regulator of HSCs. Coculture assays revealed that ZKS cells were in part supportive of maintenance, but not expansion, of gata2a:GFP+runx1:mCherry+ (gata2a+runx1+) HSCs. Transcriptome analysis revealed that, compared with candidate niche cells in the kidney, ZKS cells weakly expressed HSC maintenance factor genes, thpo and cxcl12, but highly expressed canonical Wnt ligand genes, wnt1, 7bb, and 9a. Thpo supplementation in ZKS culture slightly increased, but inhibition of canonical Wnt signaling by IWR-1-endo treatment largely increased the number of gata2a+runx1+ cells (>2-fold). Moreover, we found that gata2a+runx1+ cells can be maintained by supplementing both IWR-1-endo and Thpo without stromal cells. Collectively, our data provide evidence that IWR-1-endo can be used as a novel supporting factor for HSCs.

PMID:35759948 | DOI:10.1093/stmcls/sxac044