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A mutant allele of the Swi/Snf member BAF250a determines the pool size of fetal liver hemopoietic stem cell populations.

Krosl J, Mamo A, Chagraoui J, Wilhelm BT, Girard S, Louis I, Lessard J, Perreault C, Sauvageau G

Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, Université de Montreal, Montreal, Canada.

It is believed that hemopoietic stem cells (HSC), which colonize the fetal liver (FL) rapidly, expand to establish a supply of HSCs adequate for maintenance of hemopoiesis throughout life. Accordingly, FL HSCs are actively cycling as opposed to their predominantly quiescent bone marrow counterparts, suggesting that the FL microenvironment provides unique signals that support HSC proliferation and self-renewal. We now report the generation and characterization of mice with a mutant allele of Baf250a lacking exons 2 and 3. Baf250a(E2E3/E2E3) mice are viable until E19.5, but do not survive beyond birth. Most interestingly, FL HSC numbers are markedly higher in these mice than in control littermates, thus raising the possibility that Baf250a determines the HSC pool size in vivo. Limit dilution experiments indicate that the activity of Baf250a(E2E3/E2E3) HSC is equivalent to that of the wild-type counterparts. The Baf250a(E2E3/E2E3) FL-derived stroma, in contrast, exhibits a hemopoiesis-supporting potential superior to the developmentally matched controls. To our knowledge, this demonstration is the first that a mechanism operating in a cell nonautonomous manner canexpand the pool size of the fetal HSC populations.

Blood 2010;116(10):1678-84.

Pubmed ID: 20522713

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