Nodal/Activin signaling predicts human pluripotent stem cell lines prone to differentiate toward the hematopoietic lineage


Lineage-specific differentiation potential varies among different human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) lines, becoming therefore highly desirable to prospectively know which hPSC lines exhibit the highest differentiation potential for a certain lineage. We have compared the hematopoietic potential of 14 human embryonic stem cell (hESC)/induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines. The emergence of hemogenic progenitors, primitive and mature blood cells, and colony-forming unit (CFU) potential was analyzed at different time points. Significant differences in the propensity to differentiate toward blood were observed among hPSCs: some hPSCs exhibited good blood differentiation potential, whereas others barely displayed blood-differentiation capacity. Correlation studies revealed that the CFU potential robustly correlates with hemogenic progenitors and primitive but not mature blood cells. Developmental progression of mesoendodermal and hematopoietic transcription factors expression revealed no correlation with either hematopoietic initiation or maturation efficiency. Microarray studies showed distinct gene expression profile between hPSCs with good versus poor hematopoietic potential. Although neuroectoderm-associated genes were downregulated in hPSCs prone to hematopoietic differentiation many members of the Nodal/Activin signaling were upregulated, suggesting that this signaling predicts those hPSC lines with good blood-differentiation potential. The association between Nodal/Activin signaling and the hematopoietic differentiation potential was confirmed using loss- and gain-of-function functional assays. Our data reinforce the value of prospective comparative studies aimed at determining the lineage-specific differentiation potential among different hPSCs and indicate that Nodal/Activin signaling seems to predict those hPSC lines prone to hematopoietic specification.

Authors Ramos-Mejia V, Melen GJ, Sanchez L, Gutierrez-Aranda I, Ligero G, Cortes JL, Real PJ, Bueno C, Menendez P
Journal Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy
Publication Date 2010 Dec;18(12):2173-81
PubMed 20736931
PubMed Central PMC2997587
DOI 10.1038/mt.2010.179

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