The Journal of biological chemistry

Mesenchymal Stromal Cell-derived Extracellular Vesicles Promote Myeloid-biased Multipotent Hematopoietic Progenitor Expansion via Toll-Like Receptor Engagement.

PMID 27758863


Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) present in the bone marrow microenvironment secrete cytokines and angiogenic factors that support the maintenance and regenerative expansion of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). Here, we tested the hypothesis that extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by MSCs contribute to the paracrine crosstalk that shapes hematopoietic function. We systematically characterized EV release by murine stromal cells and demonstrate that MSC-derived EVs prompt a loss of HSPC quiescence with concomitant expansion of murine myeloid progenitors. Our studies reveal that HSPC expansion by MSC EVs is mediated via the MyD88 adapter protein and is partially blocked by treatment with a TLR4 inhibitor. Imaging of fluorescence protein-tagged MSC EVs corroborated their cellular co-localization with TLR4 and endosomal Rab5 compartments in HSPCs. The dissection of downstream responses to TLR4 activation reveals that the mechanism by which MSC EVs impact HSPCs involves canonical NF-κB signaling and downstream activation of Hif-1α and CCL2 target genes. Our aggregate data identify a previously unknown role for MSC-derived EVs in the regulation of hematopoiesis through innate immune mechanisms and illustrate the expansive cell-cell crosstalk in the bone marrow microenvironment.