Abstract 5630: Identification of Adventitial Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells in Normal and Atherosclerotic Murine Aortas
Background: Hematopoietic stem cells and the vasculature share a unique relationship during development, in the adult bone marrow and in the setting of extramedullary hematopoiesis within diseased calcified vessels. We hypothesized that the adult vasculature may contain progenitor cells with the capacity to reconstitute multi-lineage hematopoietic cells.
Methods: Aortas from normal and ApoE−/− adult mice were disaggregated with collagenase and elastase. Disaggregates were cultured in methylcellulose for quantification of short and long term hematopoietic colony forming units (CFU). Flow cytometry assessed various populations of hematopoietic progenitor cells. Aortic disaggregates (or bone marrow or blood) from ROSA26 and GFP mice were transplanted into sublethally irradiated C57BL/6 recipients (n=6) via tail vein injections. Bone marrow cells from the primary recipients were transplanted at 4 months to secondary C57BL/6 recipients (n=6). Mice were sacrificed 3 months later. Blood and bone marrow were analyzed.
Results: In short term culture in methylcellulose, aortic disaggregates generated erythroid, macrophage, granulocyte and megakaryocyte CFU, with predominance of macrophage colonies, primarily from adventitia (p<0.05) and a greater frequency was found in Apo E−/− mice (p<0.05). Long term culture defined that the combined frequency of the hematopoietic precursors approximates the frequency found in bone marrow (1:47,277). Flow cytometry of the aortic disaggregates indicates that among lin-/c-kit+/sca-1+ cells a small population of hematopoietic stem cells (CD150+endoglin+) and a population of multipotent progenitor cells (CD150− endoglin−) exist. Infusion of aortic disaggregates generated bone marrow, blood and spleen chimerism in primary and secondary transplanted mice at 3– 4 months. Flow cytometry of peripheral cells demonstrated multilineage hematopoietic cells.
Conclusions: For the first time, we have identified a variety of progenitor cell populations in the aorta capable of hematopoiesis. Infusion of these cells into sublethally irradiated mice results in stable chimeras. These data support the presence of novel aortic hematopoietic progenitor cells.