Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are crucial for the continuous production of blood cells during life. The transplantation of these cells is one of the most common treatments to cure patient suffering of blood diseases. However, the lack of suitable donors is a major limitation. One option to get HSCs matching perfectly a patient is cellular reprogramming. HSCs emerge from endothelial cells in blood vessels during embryogenesis through the endothelial to hematopoietic transition. Here, we used single-cell transcriptomics analysis to compare embryonic and post-natal endothelial cells to investigate the potential of adult vasculature to be reprogrammed in hematopoietic stem cells. Although transcriptional similarities have been found between embryonic and adult endothelial cells, we found some key differences in term of transcription factors expression. There is a deficit of expression of Runx1, Tal1, Lyl1 and Cbfb in adult endothelial cells compared to their embryonic counterparts. Using a combination of gene expression profiling and gene regulatory network analysis, we found that endothelial cells from the pancreas, brain, kidney and liver appear to be the most suitable targets for cellular reprogramming into HSCs. Overall, our work provides an important resource for the rational design of a reprogramming strategy for the generation of HSCs.
© 2022. The Author(s).