M. tuberculosis Reprograms Hematopoietic Stem Cells to Limit Myelopoiesis and Impair Trained Immunity

Cell. 2020 Oct 29;183(3):752-770.e22. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.09.062.


A greater understanding of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) regulation is required for dissecting protective versus detrimental immunity to pathogens that cause chronic infections such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). We have shown that systemic administration of Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) or β-glucan reprograms HSCs in the bone marrow (BM) via a type II interferon (IFN-II) or interleukin-1 (IL1) response, respectively, which confers protective trained immunity against Mtb. Here, we demonstrate that, unlike BCG or β-glucan, Mtb reprograms HSCs via an IFN-I response that suppresses myelopoiesis and impairs development of protective trained immunity to Mtb. Mechanistically, IFN-I signaling dysregulates iron metabolism, depolarizes mitochondrial membrane potential, and induces cell death specifically in myeloid progenitors. Additionally, activation of the IFN-I/iron axis in HSCs impairs trained immunity to Mtb infection. These results identify an unanticipated immune evasion strategy of Mtb in the BM that controls the magnitude and intrinsic anti-microbial capacity of innate immunity to infection.

Keywords: BCG; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; hematopoietic stem cells; iron metabolism; macrophages; monocytes; myelopoiesis; necroptosis; trained immunity; type I IFN.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / microbiology*
  • Homeostasis
  • Immunity*
  • Interferon Type I / metabolism
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Lung / microbiology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / physiology*
  • Myeloid Cells / metabolism
  • Myelopoiesis*
  • Necrosis
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tuberculosis / immunology
  • Tuberculosis / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis / pathology


  • Interferon Type I
  • Iron