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Functional Compensation Between Hematopoietic Stem Cells In Vivo

By Lisa Nguyen, Zheng Wang, Elizabeth Chu, Jiya Eerdeng, Adnan Chowdhury, Rong Lu

Posted 19 Dec 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/236398 (published DOI: 10.15252/embr.201745702)

In most organ systems, regeneration is a coordinated effort that involves many stem cells, but little is known about whether and how individual stem cells compensate for the functional deficiencies of other stem cells. Functional compensation between stem cells is critically important during disease progression and treatment. Here, we show how individual hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in a mouse heterogeneously compensate for the deficiencies of other HSCs during lymphopoiesis by increasing their clonal expansion at specific differentiation stages. This compensation rescues the overall blood supply and influences blood cell types outside of the deficient lineages in distinct patterns. We have identified the molecular regulators and signaling pathways in HSCs that are involved in this process. Our data demonstrate how stem cells interact with each other to constitute a coordinated network that is robust enough to withstand minor functional disruptions. Exploiting the innate compensation capacity of stem cell networks may improve the prognosis and treatment of many diseases.

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