[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) support the growth and differentiation of normal hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Here we studied the ability of MSCs to support the growth and survival of leukemic stem cells (LSCs) in vitro. Primary leukemic blasts isolated from the peripheral blood of 8 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) were co-cultured with equal numbers of irradiated MSCs derived from unrelated donor bone marrow, with or without cytokines for up to 6weeks. Four samples showed CD34(+)CD38(-) predominance, and four were predominantly CD34(+)CD38(+). CD34(+) CD38(-) predominant leukemia cells maintained the CD34(+) CD38(-) phenotype and were viable for 6weeks when co-cultured with MSCs compared to co-cultures with cytokines or medium only, which showed rapid differentiation and loss of the LSC phenotype. In contrast, CD34(+) CD38(+) predominant leukemic cells maintained the CD34(+)CD38(+) phenotype when co-cultured with MSCs alone, but no culture conditions supported survival beyond 4weeks. Cell cycle analysis showed that MSCs maintained a higher proportion of CD34(+) blasts in G0 than leukemic cells cultured with cytokines. AML blasts maintained in culture with MSCs for up to 6weeks engrafted NSG mice with the same efficiency as their non-cultured counterparts, and the original karyotype persisted after co-culture. Chemosensitivity and transwell assays suggest that MSCs provide pro-survival benefits to leukemic blasts through cell-cell contact. We conclude that MSCs support long-term maintenance of LSCs in vitro. This simple and inexpensive approach will facilitate basic investigation of LSCs and enable screening of novel therapeutic agents targeting LSCs.
Published by Elsevier B.V.
Stem Cell Research 12/2014; 14(1):95-104. DOI:10.1016/j.scr.2014.11.007 · 3.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) therapies offer a promising path for patient-specific regenerative medicine. However, tumor formation from residual undifferentiated iPSC or transformation of iPSC or their derivatives is a risk. Inclusion of a suicide gene is one approach to risk mitigation. We introduced a dimerizable-"inducible caspase-9" (iCasp9) suicide gene into mouse iPSC (miPSC) and rhesus iPSC (RhiPSC) via a lentivirus, driving expression from either a cytomegalovirus (CMV), elongation factor-1 α (EF1α) or pluripotency-specific EOS-C(3+) promoter. Exposure of the iPSC to the synthetic chemical dimerizer, AP1903, in vitro induced effective apoptosis in EF1α-iCasp9-expressing (EF1α)-iPSC, with less effective killing of EOS-C(3+)-iPSC and CMV-iPSC, proportional to transgene expression in these cells. AP1903 treatment of EF1α-iCasp9 miPSC in vitro delayed or prevented teratomas. AP1903 administration following subcutaneous or intravenous delivery of EF1α-iPSC resulted in delayed teratoma progression but did not ablate tumors. EF1α-iCasp9 expression was downregulated during in vitro and in vivo differentiation due to DNA methylation at CpG islands within the promoter, and methylation, and thus decreased expression, could be reversed by 5-azacytidine treatment. The level and stability of suicide gene expression will be important for the development of suicide gene strategies in iPSC regenerative medicine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The occurrence of clonal perturbations and leukemia in patients transplanted with gamma retroviral vector-transduced autologous hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) has stimulated extensive investigation, demonstrating that proviral insertions mayperturb adjacent proto-oncogene expression. Although enhancer-deleted lentiviruses are less likely to result in insertional oncogenesis, there is evidence that they may perturb transcript splicing, and one patient with a benign clonal expansion of lentivirally-transduced HPSC has been reported. The rhesus macaque model provides an opportunity for informative long-term analysis to ask whether transduction impacts on long-term HSPCproperties. We utilized two techniques to examine whether lentivirally-transduced HSPCs from eight rhesus macaques transplanted 1-13.5 years previously are perturbed at a population level, comparing telomere length as a measure of replicative history and gene expression profile of vector positive versus vector negative cells. There were no differences in telomere lengths between sorted GFP+ and GFP- blood cells, suggesting that lentiviral transduction did not globally disrupt replicative patterns. Bone marrow GFP+ and GFP- CD34+ cells showed no differences in gene expression using unsupervised and principal component analysis. These studies did not uncover any global long-term perturbation of proliferation, differentiation, or other important functional parameters of transduced HSPCs in the rhesus macaque model.Molecular Therapy (2013); accepted article preview online 18 July 2013; doi:10.1038/mt.2013.168.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The modern laboratory mouse has become a central tool for biomedical research with a notable influence in the field of hematopoiesis. Application of retroviral-based gene transfer approaches to mouse hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) has led to a sophisticated understanding of the hematopoietic hierarchy in this model. However, the assumption that gene transfer methodologies developed in the mouse could be similarly applied to human HSCs for the treatment of human diseases left the field of gene therapy in a decade-long quandary. It is not until more relevant humanized xenograft mouse models and phylogenetically related large animal species were used to optimize gene transfer methodologies that unequivocal clinical successes were achieved. However, the subsequent reporting of severe adverse events in these clinical trials casted doubts on the predictive value of conventional pre-clinical testing, and encouraged the development of new assays for assessing the relative genotoxicity of various vector designs.
Seminars in Hematology 04/2013; 50(2):101-130. DOI:10.1053/j.seminhematol.2013.03.025 · 2.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Manipulation of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) ex vivo is of clinical importance for stem cell expansion and gene therapy applications. However, most cultured HSPCs are actively cycling, and show a homing and engraftment defect compared with the predominantly quiescent noncultured HSPCs. We previously showed that HSPCs make contact with osteoblasts in vitro via a polarized membrane domain enriched in adhesion molecules such as tetraspanins. Here we show that increased cell cycling during ex vivo culture of HSPCs resulted in disruption of this membrane domain, as evidenced by disruption of polarity of the tetraspanin CD82. Chemical disruption or antibody-mediated blocking of CD82 on noncultured HSPCs resulted in decreased stromal cell adhesion, homing, and engraftment in nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency IL-2γ(null) (NSG) mice compared with HSPCs with an intact domain. Most leukemic blasts were actively cycling and correspondingly displayed a loss of domain polarity and decreased homing in NSG mice compared with normal HSPCs. We conclude that quiescent cells, unlike actively cycling cells, display a polarized membrane domain enriched in tetraspanins that mediates homing and engraftment, providing a mechanistic explanation for the homing/engraftment defect of cycling cells and a potential new therapeutic target to enhance engraftment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability to expand hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) in vitro will enhance the success of a wide range of transplant-related therapies. PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10) has been implicated as a regulator of murine HSPC self-renewal, but little is understood about the role of PTEN in human HSPC regulation. We tested the impact of transient small interfering RNA (siRNA)-induced inhibition of PTEN expression in human CD34(+) cells on their cell cycle profile, their susceptibility to retroviral transduction, and their ability to self-renew and repopulate nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency disease with interleukin-2 receptor γ-chain deficiency mice. Reduced PTEN messenger RNA and protein levels were confirmed in PTEN siRNA-treated CD34(+) cells compared with control siRNA-treated CD34(+) cells. Transient silencing of PTEN in CD34(+) cells promoted their entry into cell cycle, and increased their expansion in vitro compared with control siRNA-treated CD34(+) cells. When these cells were transduced with retroviral vectors, transduction efficiencies in the bulk CD34(+) cells transfected with PTEN siRNA were significantly higher compared with CD34(+) cells transfected with a control siRNA. Transient PTEN suppression in CD34(+) cells also increased their proliferation and engraftment potential in nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency disease with interleukin-2 receptor γ-chain deficiency mice, and maintained their multilineage differentiation capacity in vivo. No mice developed myeloproliferative disorders or leukemias. Similar to findings with murine HSPC, PTEN may also promote quiescence of human HSPC. With optimization of technologies for transfer of siRNA in primary CD34(+) cells, this approach may facilitate investigations into the mechanisms underlying HSPC self-renewal, and could find clinical applications in gene therapy protocols.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Steady-state egress of hematopoietic progenitor cells can be rapidly amplified by mobilizing agents such as AMD3100, the mechanism, however, is poorly understood. We report that AMD3100 increased the homeostatic release of the chemokine stromal cell derived factor-1 (SDF-1) to the circulation in mice and non-human primates. Neutralizing antibodies against CXCR4 or SDF-1 inhibited both steady state and AMD3100-induced SDF-1 release and reduced egress of murine progenitor cells over mature leukocytes. Intra-bone injection of biotinylated SDF-1 also enhanced release of this chemokine and murine progenitor cell mobilization. AMD3100 directly induced SDF-1 release from CXCR4(+) human bone marrow osteoblasts and endothelial cells and activated uPA in a CXCR4/JNK-dependent manner. Additionally, ROS inhibition reduced AMD3100-induced SDF-1 release, activation of circulating uPA and mobilization of progenitor cells. Norepinephrine treatment, mimicking acute stress, rapidly increased SDF-1 release and progenitor cell mobilization, whereas β2-adrenergic antagonist inhibited both steady state and AMD3100-induced SDF-1 release and progenitor cell mobilization in mice. In conclusion, this study reveals that SDF-1 release from bone marrow stromal cells to the circulation emerges as a pivotal mechanism essential for steady-state egress and rapid mobilization of hematopoietic progenitor cells, but not mature leukocytes.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 04/2011; 25(8):1286-96. DOI:10.1038/leu.2011.62 · 9.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Various combinations of antibodies directed to cell surface markers have been used to isolate human and rhesus macaque hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). These protocols result in poor enrichment or require multiple complex steps. Recently, a simple phenotype for HSCs based on cell surface markers from the signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) family of receptors has been reported in the mouse. We examined the possibility of using the SLAM markers to facilitate the isolation of highly enriched populations of HSCs in humans and rhesus macaques. We isolated SLAM (CD150(+)CD48(-)) and non-SLAM (not CD150(+)CD48(-)) cells from human umbilical cord blood CD34(+) cells as well as from human and rhesus macaque mobilized peripheral blood CD34(+) cells and compared their ability to form colonies in vitro and reconstitute immune-deficient (nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency/interleukin-2 γc receptor(null), NSG) mice. We found that the CD34(+) SLAM population contributed equally or less to colony formation in vitro and to long-term reconstitution in NSG mice compared with the CD34(+) non-SLAM population. Thus, SLAM family markers do not permit the same degree of HSC enrichment in humans and rhesus macaques as in mice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of proto-oncogenes by retroviral insertion is an important issue delaying clinical development of gene therapy. We have reported the nonrandom persistence of hematopoietic clones with vector insertions within the MDS1/EVI1 locus following transplantation of rhesus macaques. We now ask whether prolonged culture of transduced CD34(+) cells before transplantation selects for clones with insertions in the MDS1/EVI11 or other proto-oncogene loci. CD34(+) cells were transduced with standard retroviral vectors for 4 days and then continued in culture for an additional 6 days before transplantation. A 15% of insertions identified in granulocytes 6 months post-transplant were in MDS1/EVI11, significantly increased compared to the frequency in animals transplanted with cells immediately following transduction. MDS1/EVI1 clones became more dominant over time post-transplantation in one animal that was followed long term, accompanied by an increased overall copy number of vector-containing granulocytes, with one MDS1/EVI1 clone eventually accounting for 100% of transduced granulocytes and marrow colony-forming unit (CFU). This vector insertion increased the expression of Evi1 mRNA. There was no overrepresentation of MDS1/EVI1 insertions contributing to lymphoid lineages. Strategies involving prolonged ex vivo expansion of transduced cells may increase the risk of genotoxicity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The risk of genotoxicity of retroviral vector-delivered gene therapy targeting hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) has been highlighted by the development of clonal dominance and malignancies in human and animal gene therapy trials. Large-animal models have proven invaluable to test the safety of retroviral vectors, but the detection of clonal dominance may require years of follow-up. We hypothesized that hematopoietic stress may accelerate the proliferation and therefore the detection of abnormal clones in these models. We administered four monthly busulfan (Bu) infusions to induce hematopoietic stress in a healthy rhesus macaque previously transplanted with CD34+ cells transduced with retroviral vectors carrying a simple marker gene. Busulfan administration resulted in significant cytopenias with each cycle, and prolonged pancytopenia after the final cycle with eventual recovery. Before busulfan treatment there was highly polyclonal marking in all lineages. After Bu administration clonal diversity was markedly decreased in all lineages. Unexpectedly, we found no evidence of selection of the MDS1/EVI1 clones present before Bu administration, but a clone with a vector integration in intron 1 of the histone deacetylase-7 (HDAC7) gene became dominant in granulocytes over time after Bu administration. The overall marking level in the animal was increased significantly after Bu treatment and coincident with expansion of the HDAC7 clone, suggesting an in vivo advantage for this clone under stress. HDAC7 expression was upregulated in marrow progenitors containing the vector. Almost 5 years after Bu administration, the animal developed progressive cytopenias, and at autopsy the marrow showed complete lack of neutrophil or platelet maturation, with a new population of approximately 20% undifferentiated blasts. These data suggest that chemotherapeutic stress may accelerate vector-related clonal dominance, even in the absence of drug resistance genes expressed by the vector. This model may both accelerate the detection of abnormal clones to facilitate analysis of genotoxicity for human gene therapy, and help assess the safety of administering myelotoxic chemotherapeutic agents in patients previously engrafted with vector-containing cells.
Human gene therapy 06/2010; 21(6):695-703. DOI:10.1089/hum.2009.191 · 3.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Side population (SP) fraction cells, identified by efflux of Hoechst dye, are present in virtually all normal and malignant tissues. The relationship between SP cells, drug resistance and cancer stem cells is poorly understood. Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a highly aggressive human tumour with a 5-year survival rate of <10%. These features suggest enrichment in cancer stem cells.
We examined several SCLC cell lines and found that they contain a consistent SP fraction that comprises <1% of the bulk population. Side population cells have higher proliferative capacity in vitro, efficient self-renewal and reduced cell surface expression of neuronal differentiation markers, CD56 and CD90, as compared with non-SP cells. Previous reports indicated that several thousand SP cells from non-small-cell lung cancer are required to form tumours in mice. In contrast, as few as 50 SP cells from H146 and H526 SCLC cell lines rapidly reconstituted tumours. Whereas non-SP cells formed fewer and slower-growing tumours, SP cells over-expressed many genes associated with cancer stem cell and drug resistance: ABCG2, FGF1, IGF1, MYC, SOX1/2, WNT1, as well as genes involved in angiogenesis, Notch and Hedgehog pathways.
Side population cells from SCLC are highly enriched in tumourigenic cells and are characterised by a specific stem cell-associated gene expression signature. This gene signature may be used for development of targeted therapies for this rapidly fatal tumour.
British Journal of Cancer 05/2010; 102(11):1636-44. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6605668 · 4.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Major limitations to gene therapy using HSCs are low gene transfer efficiency and the inability of most therapeutic genes to confer a selective advantage on the gene-corrected cells. One approach to enrich for gene-modified cells in vivo is to include in the retroviral vector a drug resistance gene, such as the P140K mutant of the DNA repair enzyme O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT*). We transplanted 5 rhesus macaques with CD34+ cells transduced with lentiviral vectors encoding MGMT* and a fluorescent marker, with or without homeobox B4 (HOXB4), a potent stem cell self-renewal gene. Transgene expression and common integration sites in lymphoid and myeloid lineages several months after transplantation confirmed transduction of long-term repopulating HSCs. However, all animals showed only a transient increase in gene-marked lymphoid and myeloid cells after O6-benzylguanine (BG) and temozolomide (TMZ) administration. In 1 animal, cells transduced with MGMT* lentiviral vectors were protected and expanded after multiple courses of BG/TMZ, providing a substantial increase in the maximum tolerated dose of TMZ. Additional cycles of chemotherapy using 1,3-bis-(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) resulted in similar increases in gene marking levels, but caused high levels of nonhematopoietic toxicity. Inclusion of HOXB4 in the MGMT* vectors resulted in no substantial increase in gene marking or HSC amplification after chemotherapy treatment. Our data therefore suggest that lentivirally mediated gene transfer in transplanted HSCs can provide in vivo chemoprotection of progenitor cells, although selection of long-term repopulating HSCs was not seen.
The Journal of clinical investigation 07/2009; 119(7):1952-63. DOI:10.1172/JCI37506 · 13.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that lentiviral vectors derived from the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) were efficient at transducing rhesus hematopoietic repopulating cells. To evaluate the persistence of vector-containing and -expressing cells long term, and the safety implications of SIV lentiviral vector-mediated gene transfer, we followed 3 rhesus macaques for more than 4 years after transplantation with transduced CD34+ cells. All 3 animals demonstrated significant vector marking and expression of the GFP transgene in T cells, B cells, and granulocytes, with mean GFP+ levels of 6.7% (range, 3.3%-13.0%), 7.4% (4.2%-13.4%), and 5.6% (3.1%-10.5%), respectively. There was no vector silencing in hematopoietic cells over time. Vector insertion site analysis of granulocytes demonstrated sustained highly polyclonal reconstitution, with no evidence for progression to oligoclonality. A significant number of clones were found to contribute at both 1-year and 3- or 4-year time points. No vector integrations were detected in the MDS1/EVI1 region, in contrast to our previous findings with a gamma-retroviral vector. These data show that lentiviral vectors can mediate stable and efficient long-term expression in the progeny of transduced hematopoietic stem cells, with an integration profile that may be safer than that of standard Moloney murine leukemia virus (MLV)-derived retroviral vectors.