Cigarette Smoke Alters the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Niche

Med Sci (Basel). 2014 Mar;2(1):37-50. doi: 10.3390/medsci2010037. Epub 2014 Feb 18.


Effects of tobacco smoke on hematologic derangements have received little attention. This study employed a mouse model of cigarette smoke exposure to explore the effects on bone marrow niche function. While lung cancer is the most widely studied consequence of tobacco smoke exposure, other malignancies, including leukemia, are associated with tobacco smoke exposure. Animals received cigarette smoke exposure for 6 h/day, 5 days/week for 9 months. Results reveal that the hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) pool size is reduced by cigarette smoke exposure. We next examined the effect of cigarette smoke exposure on one supporting cell type of the niche, the mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Smoke exposure decreased the number of MSCs. Transplantation of naïve HSPCs into irradiated mice with cigarette smoke exposure yielded fewer numbers of engrafted HSPCs. This result suggests that smoke-exposed mice possess dysfunctional niches, resulting in abnormal hematopoiesis. Co-culture experiments using MSCs isolated from control or cigarette smoke-exposed mice with naïve HSPCs in vitro showed that MSCs from cigarette smoke-exposed mice generated marked expansion of naïve HSPCs. These data show that cigarette smoke exposure decreases in vivo MSC and HSC number and also increases pro-proliferative gene expression by cigarette smoke-exposed MSCs, which may stimulate HSPC expansion. These results of this investigation are clinically relevant to both bone marrow donors with a history of smoking and bone marrow transplant (BMT) recipients with a history of smoking.

Keywords: cigarette smoke; hematopoiesis; hematopoietic stem cell; mesenchymal stromal cell; niche.