ARID3a expression in human hematopoietic stem cells is associated with distinct gene patterns in aged individuals

Immun Ageing. 2020 Sep 3;17:24. doi: 10.1186/s12979-020-00198-6. eCollection 2020.


Background: Immunologic aging leads to immune dysfunction, significantly reducing the quality of life of the elderly. Aged-related defects in early hematopoiesis result in reduced lymphoid cell development, functionally defective mature immune cells, and poor protective responses to vaccines and pathogens. Despite considerable progress understanding the underlying causes of decreased immunity in the elderly, the mechanisms by which these occur are still poorly understood. The DNA-binding protein ARID3a is expressed in a subset of human hematopoietic progenitors. Inhibition of ARID3a in bulk human cord blood CD34+ hematopoietic progenitors led to developmental skewing toward myeloid lineage at the expense of lymphoid lineage cells in vitro. Effects of ARID3a expression in adult-derived hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have not been analyzed, nor has ARID3a expression been assessed in relationship to age. We hypothesized that decreases in ARID3a could explain some of the defects observed in aging.

Results: Our data reveal decreased frequencies of ARID3a-expressing peripheral blood HSCs from aged healthy individuals compared with young donor HSCs. Inhibition of ARID3a in young donor-derived HSCs limits B lineage potential, suggesting a role for ARID3a in B lymphopoiesis in bone marrow-derived HSCs. Increasing ARID3a levels of HSCs from aged donors in vitro alters B lineage development and maturation. Finally, single cell analyses of ARID3a-expressing HSCs from young versus aged donors identify a number of differentially expressed genes in aged ARID3A-expressing cells versus young ARID3A-expressing HSCs, as well as between ARID3A-expressing and non-expressing cells in both young and aged donor HSCs.

Conclusions: These data suggest that ARID3a-expressing HSCs from aged individuals differ at both molecular and functional levels compared to ARID3a-expressing HSCs from young individuals.

Keywords: ARID3a; Hematopoiesis; Hematopoietic stem cells; Human immunity; Immunoaging.