N-Cadherin-Expressing Bone and Marrow Stromal Progenitor Cells Maintain Reserve Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Cell Rep. 2019 Jan 15;26(3):652-669.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.12.093.


Regulation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) by bone marrow (BM) niches has been extensively studied; however, whether and how HSC subpopulations are distinctively regulated by BM niches remain unclear. Here, we functionally distinguished reserve HSCs (rHSCs) from primed HSCs (pHSCs) based on their response to chemotherapy and examined how they are dichotomously regulated by BM niches. Both pHSCs and rHSCs supported long-term hematopoiesis in homeostasis; however, pHSCs were sensitive but rHSCs were resistant to chemotherapy. Surviving rHSCs restored the HSC pool and supported hematopoietic regeneration after chemotherapy. The rHSCs were preferentially maintained in the endosteal region that enriches N-cadherin+ (N-cad+) bone-lining cells in homeostasis and post-chemotherapy. N-cad+ cells were functional bone and marrow stromal progenitor cells (BMSPCs), giving rise to osteoblasts, adipocytes, and chondrocytes in vitro and in vivo. Finally, ablation of N-cad+ niche cells or deletion of SCF from N-cad+ niche cells impaired rHSC maintenance during homeostasis and regeneration.

Keywords: MSC; N-cadherin; endosteum; niche; reserve stem cell; stress response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism*


  • Cadherins