Chronic infections affect a third of the world's population and can cause bone marrow suppression, a severe condition that increases mortality from infection. To uncover the basis for infection-associated bone marrow suppression, we conducted repeated infection of WT mice with Mycobacterium avium. After 4-6 months, mice became pancytopenic. Their hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) were severely depleted and displayed interferon gamma (IFN-γ) signaling-dependent defects in self-renewal. There was no evidence of increased HSPC mobilization or apoptosis. However, consistent with known effects of IFN-γ, transcriptome analysis pointed toward increased myeloid differentiation of HSPCs and revealed the transcription factor Batf2 as a potential mediator of IFN-γ-induced HSPC differentiation. Gain- and loss-of-function studies uncovered a role for Batf2 in myeloid differentiation in both murine and human systems. We thus demonstrate that chronic infection can deplete HSPCs and identify BATF2 as a mediator of infection-induced HSPC terminal differentiation.
Keywords: bone marrow failure; chronic infection; hematopoietic stem cell; interferon gamma; pancytopenia; terminal differentiation.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.