Hematopoietic Reprogramming In Vitro Informs In Vivo Identification of Hemogenic Precursors to Definitive Hematopoietic Stem Cells.
Pereira CF., Chang B., Gomes A., Bernitz J., Papatsenko D., Niu X., Swiers G., Azzoni E., de Bruijn MF., Schaniel C., Lemischka IR., Moore KA.
Definitive hematopoiesis emerges via an endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition in the embryo and placenta; however, the precursor cells to hemogenic endothelium are not defined phenotypically. We previously demonstrated that the induction of hematopoietic progenitors from fibroblasts progresses through hemogenic precursors that are Prom1(+)Sca1(+)CD34(+)CD45(-) (PS34CD45(-)). Guided by these studies, we analyzed mouse placentas and identified a population with this phenotype. These cells express endothelial markers, are heterogeneous for early hematopoietic markers, and localize to the vascular labyrinth. Remarkably, global gene expression profiles of PS34CD45(-) cells correlate with reprogrammed precursors and establish a hemogenic precursor cell molecular signature. PS34CD45(-) cells are also present in intra-embryonic hemogenic sites. After stromal co-culture, PS34CD45(-) cells give rise to all blood lineages and engraft primary and secondary immunodeficient mice. In summary, we show that reprogramming reveals a phenotype for in vivo precursors to hemogenic endothelium, establishing that direct in vitro conversion informs developmental processes in vivo.