Neuropeptide Y is involved in the regulation of quiescence of hematopoietic stem cells

Neuropeptides. 2020 Apr;80:102029. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2020.102029. Epub 2020 Feb 19.


Differentiation, self-renewal and quiescence of Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is tightly regulated in order to protect the HSCs from the strain of constant cell division and depletion of the stem cell pool. The neurotransmitter Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is released from sympathetic nerves in the bone marrow and has been shown to indirectly affect HSC function through effects on bone marrow (BM) multipotent Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSCs), osteoblasts (OBs) and macrophages. Although the absence of NPY has been shown to be accompanied by severe BM impairment and delayed engraftment of HSCs, the direct effects of NPY on HSCs have never been assessed. Here, we aimed to explore the effect of NPY on the regulation of HSCs. All NPY receptors Y1, Y2, Y4 and Y5 were found to be highly expressed on most HSCs and mature hematopoietic cell subsets. In culture, in particularly expression of the Y1 receptor was shown to decrease in time. Doses of 300 nM NPY suppressed HSC proliferation in cell cultures, as confirmed by an increase of HSCs in G0 phase and an increase in the gene expression levels of FOXO3, DICER1, SMARCA2 and PDK1, which all have been shown to play an important role in the regulation of cell quiescence. These data support the idea that NPY may have a direct effect on the regulation of HSC fate by modulating cell quiescence.

Keywords: Hematopoietic stem cells; Neuropeptide Y; Quiescence.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / drug effects*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism
  • Neuropeptide Y / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y / drug effects
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y / metabolism*


  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y