Goldstein JM, Sengul H, Messemer KA, Fernández-Alfara M, Garbern JC, Kristl AC, Lee RT, Wagers AJ. 2019. Steady-state and regenerative hematopoiesis occurs normally in mice in the absence of GDF11. Blood. 134(20):1712-1716. Pubmed: 31530563 DOI:10.1182/blood.2019002066


Tightly regulated production of mature blood cells is essential for health and survival in vertebrates and dependent on discrete populations of blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem and progenitor cells. Prior studies suggested that inhibition of growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) through soluble activin receptor type II (ActRII) ligand traps or neutralizing antibodies promotes erythroid precursor cell maturation and red blood cell formation in contexts of homeostasis and anemia. As Gdf11 is expressed by mature hematopoietic cells, and erythroid precursor cell expression of Gdf11 has been implicated in regulating erythropoiesis, we hypothesized that genetic disruption of Gdf11 in blood cells might perturb normal hematopoiesis or recovery from hematopoietic insult. Contrary to these predictions, we found that deletion of Gdf11 in the hematopoietic lineage in mice does not alter erythropoiesis or erythroid precursor cell frequency under normal conditions or during hematopoietic recovery after irradiation and transplantation. In addition, although hematopoietic cell-derived Gdf11 may contribute to the pool of circulating GDF11 protein during adult homeostasis, loss of Gdf11 specifically in the blood system does not impair hematopoietic stem cell function or induce overt pathological consequences. Taken together, these results reveal that hematopoietic cell-derived Gdf11 is largely dispensable for native and transplant-induced blood formation.
© 2019 by The American Society of Hematology.

Related Faculty

Photo of Amy Wagers

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.

Photo of Rich Lee

Rich Lee seeks to understand heart failure and metabolic diseases that accompany human aging, and translate that understanding into therapies. Lee is an active clinician, regularly treating patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Search Menu