Staining for CD27 and CD201 (endothelial protein C receptor) has been recently suggested as an alternative to stem cell antigen-1 (Sca1) to identify hematopoietic stem cells in inbred mouse strains with low or nil expression of SCA1. However, whether staining for CD27 and CD201 is compatible with low fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) expression and the "SLAM" code defined by CD48 and CD150 to identify mouse long-term reconstituting hematopoietic stem cells has not been established. We compared the C57BL/6 strain, which expresses a high level of SCA1 on hematopoietic stem cells to non-obese diabetic severe combined immune deficient NOD.CB17-prkdc scid/Sz (NOD-scid) mice and NOD.CB17-prkdc scid il2rg tm1Wj1/Sz (NSG) mice which both express low to negative levels of SCA1 on hematopoietic stem cells. We demonstrate that hematopoietic stem cells are enriched within the linage-negative C-KIT+ CD27+ CD201+ FLT3- CD48-CD150+ population in serial dilution long-term competitive transplantation assays. We also make the novel observation that CD48 expression is up-regulated in Lin- KIT+ progenitors from NOD-scid and NSG strains, which otherwise have very few cells expressing the CD48 ligand CD244. Finally, we report that unlike hematopoietic stem cells, SCA1 expression is similar on bone marrow endothelial and mesenchymal progenitor cells in C57BL/6, NOD-scid and NSG mice. In conclusion, we propose that the combination of Lineage, KIT, CD27, CD201, FLT3, CD48, and CD150 antigens can be used to identify long-term reconstituting hematopoietic stem cells from mouse strains expressing low levels of SCA1 on hematopoietic cells.
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