M1 and M2 macrophages differentially regulate hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal and ex vivo expansion

Yi Luo, Lijian Shao, Jianhui Chang, Wei Feng, Y. Lucy Liu, Michele H. Cottler-Fox, Peter D. Emanuel, Martin Hauer-Jensen, Irwin D. Bernstein, Lingbo Liu, Xing Chen, Jianfeng Zhou, Peter J. Murray, Daohong Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Uncovering the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal is regulated can lead to the development of new strategies for promoting ex vivo HSC expansion. Here, we report the discovery that alternative (M2)-polarized macrophages (M2-MFs) promote, but classical (M1)-polarized macrophages (M1-MFs) inhibit, the self-renewal and expansion of HSCs frommouse bonemarrow (BM) in vitro. The opposite effects of M1-MFs and M2-MFs on mouse BM HSCs were attributed to their differential expression of nitric oxide synthase 2 (NOS2) and arginase 1 (Arg1), because genetic knockout of Nos2 and Arg1 or inhibition of these enzymes with a specific inhibitor abrogated the differential effects of M1-MΦs andM2-MΦs. The opposite effects of M1-MΦs and M2-MΦs on HSCs from human umbilical cord blood (hUCB) were also observed when hUCB CD34+ cells were cocultured with M1-MΦs and M2-MΦs generated from hUCB CD34- cells. Importantly, coculture of hUCB CD34+ cells with human M2-MΦs for 8 days resulted in 28.7- and 6.6-fold increases in the number of CD34+ cells and long-term SCID mice-repopulating cells, respectively, compared with uncultured hUCB CD34+ cells. Our findings could lead to the development of new strategies to promote ex vivo hUCBHSC expansion to improve the clinical utility and outcome of hUCB HSC transplantation and may provide new insights into the pathogenesis of hematological dysfunctions associated with infection and inflammation that can lead to differential macrophage polarization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-870
Number of pages12
JournalBlood Advances
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 24 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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