Heterogeneity and hierarchy within the most primitive hematopoietic stem cell compartment

J Exp Med. 2010 Jun 7;207(6):1173-82. doi: 10.1084/jem.20091318. Epub 2010 Apr 26.


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have been extensively characterized based on functional definitions determined by experimental transplantation into lethally irradiated mice. In mice, HSCs are heterogeneous with regard to self-renewal potential, in vitro colony-forming activity, and in vivo behavior. We attempted prospective isolation of HSC subsets with distinct properties among CD34(-/low) c-Kit+Sca-1+Lin- (CD34-KSL) cells. CD34-KSL cells were divided, based on CD150 expression, into three fractions: CD150high, CD150med, and CD150neg cells. Compared with the other two fractions, CD150high cells were significantly enriched in HSCs, with great self-renewal potential. In vitro colony assays revealed that decreased expression of CD150 was associated with reduced erythroblast/megakaryocyte differentiation potential. All three fractions were regenerated only from CD150high cells in recipient mice. Using single-cell transplantation studies, we found that a fraction of CD150high cells displayed latent and barely detectable myeloid engraftment in primary-recipient mice but progressive and multilineage reconstitution in secondary-recipient mice. These findings highlight the complexity and hierarchy of reconstitution capability, even among HSCs in the most primitive compartment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Antigens, CD34 / metabolism
  • Ataxin-1
  • Ataxins
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Compartmentation*
  • Cell Lineage*
  • Colony-Forming Units Assay
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Regeneration
  • Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Family Member 1
  • Time Factors


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, CD34
  • Ataxin-1
  • Ataxins
  • Atxn1 protein, mouse
  • Biomarkers
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Family Member 1
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit