Udani VM, Santarelli JG, Yung YC, Wagers AJ, Cheshier SH, Weissman IL, Tse V. 2005. Hematopoietic stem cells give rise to perivascular endothelial-like cells during brain tumor angiogenesis. Stem cells and development. 14(5):478-86. Pubmed: 16305333


Bone marrow (BM) cells have recently been shown to give rise to skeletal, hepatic, cardiac, neural, and vascular endothelial tissues. However, it has been shown that this is the result of cell fusion rather than transdifferentiation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). For this study, we established a mouse model of brain tumor growth to investigate the differentiation potential of HSC into endothelial cells during brain tumor-induced angiogenesis. Nontransgenic (GFP(neg)) recipient mice were lethally irradiated, and their hematopoietic cells were subsequently repopulated by transplantation of a single green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing HSC. Rat glioma (RT-2/RAG) cells were then injected into the striatum of the chimeric mice 6-8 weeks post-transplantation. The animals were sacrificed 3-9 days after tumor implantation, and the mobilization, temporal-spatial distribution, and lineage-specific marker expression profile of the GFP(+) cells within the growing tumor were analyzed. We saw that GFP(+) cells gave rise to elongated, CD34(+)/Flk-1(+) cells that incorporated into the endothelium of tumor blood vessels. However, all GFP(+) cells were also CD45(+), and the presence of CD45 on the HSC-derived endothelial-like cells supports the hypothesis that the hematopoietic cells were recruited into the tumor milieu. The fact that we failed to demonstrate the expression of von Willebrand factor in these cells argues against a true endothelial identity. Nevertheless, the recruitment of HSC-derived endothelial-like cells was an extremely rare event in normal brain parenchyma, and, thus, the permissive influence afforded by the growing tumor appeared to enhance the perivascular tropism and acquisition of an endothelial phenotypes by a population of HSC-derived cells.

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Amy Wagers seeks to change the way we repair our tissues after an injury. Her research focuses on defining the factors and mechanisms that regulate the migration, expansion, and regenerative potential of adult blood-forming and muscle-forming stem cells.

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