Human reconstituting hematopoietic stem cells up-regulate Fas expression upon active cell cycling but remain resistant to Fas-induced suppression.
Dybedal I., Yang L., Bryder D., Aastrand-Grundstrom I., Leandersson K., Jacobsen SEW.
The Fas receptor and its ligand have been implicated in mediating the bone marrow (BM) suppression observed in graft-versus-host disease and a number of other BM-failure syndromes. However, previous studies have suggested that Fas is probably not expressed on human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), but up-regulated as a consequence of their commitment and differentiation, suggesting that progenitors or differentiated blood cells, rather than HSCs, are the targets of Fas-mediated suppression. The present studies confirm that candidate HSCs in human cord blood and BM lack constitutive expression of Fas, but demonstrate that Fas expression on CD34+ progenitor and stem cells is correlated to their cell cycle and activation status. With the use of recently developed in vitro conditions promoting HSC self-renewing divisions, Fas was up-regulated on virtually all HSCs capable of multilineage reconstituting nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency (NOD-SCID) mice in vivo, as well as on long-term culture-initiating cells (LTC-ICs). Similarly, in vivo cycling of NOD-SCID repopulating cells upon transplantation, resulted in up-regulation of Fas expression. However, repopulating HSCs expressing high levels of Fas remained highly resistant to Fas-mediated suppression, and HSC function was compromised only upon coactivation with tumor necrosis factor. Thus, reconstituting human HSCs up-regulate Fas expression upon active cycling, demonstrating that HSCs could be targets for Fas-mediated BM suppression.