Experimental hematology

CD201 and CD27 identify hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells across multiple murine strains independently of Kit and Sca-1.

PMID 25892186


Identification and isolation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in mice is most commonly based on the expression of surface molecules Kit and Sca-1 and the absence of markers of mature lineages. However, Sca-1 is absent or weakly expressed in hematopoietic progenitors in many strains, including nonobese diabetic (NOD), BALB/c, C3H, and CBA mice. In addition, both Kit and Sca-1 levels are modulated following bone marrow injury. In these cases, other markers and dye exclusion methods have been employed to identify HSCs, yet there is no antibody-based stain that enables identification of HSCs and early progenitors when Kit and Sca-1 are inadequate. CD201 is a marker that is highly restricted to HSCs and progenitors, and CD27 is expressed at moderate-to-high levels on HSCs. We show here that combining CD201 and CD27 enables highly efficient isolation of long-term HSCs in NOD mice as well as in other strains, including SJL, FVB, AKR, BALB/c, C3H, and CBA. We also find that HSCs appear to maintain expression of CD201 and CD27 after hematopoietic injury when Kit expression is downregulated. These results suggest a widely applicable yet simple alternative for HSC isolation in settings where Kit and Sca-1 expression are insufficient.