Identification of factors promoting ex vivo maintenance of mouse hematopoietic stem cells by long-term single-cell quantification

Konstantinos D. Kokkaliaris, Erin Drew, Max Endele, Dirk Loeffler, Philipp S. Hoppe, Oliver Hilsenbeck, Bernhard Schauberger, Christoph Hinzen, Stavroula Skylaki, Marina Theodorou, Matthias Kieslinger, Ihor Lemischka, Kateri Moore, Timm Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) during ex vivo culture is an important prerequisite for their therapeutic manipulation. However, despite intense research, culture conditions for robust maintenance of HSCs are still missing. Cultured HSCs are quickly lost, preventing their improved analysis and manipulation. Identification of novel factors supporting HSC ex vivo maintenance is therefore necessary. Coculture with the AFT024 stroma cell line is capable of maintaining HSCs ex vivo longterm, but the responsible molecular players remain unknown. Here, we use continuous long-termsingle-cell observation to identify the HSC behavioral signature under supportive or nonsupportive stroma cocultures. We report early HSC survival as amajor characteristic of HSC-maintaining conditions. Behavioral screening after manipulation of candidate molecules revealed that the extracellular matrix protein dermatopontin (Dpt) is involved in HSCmaintenance. DPT knockdown in supportive stroma impaired HSC survival, whereas ectopic expression of the Dpt gene or protein in nonsupportive conditions restored HSC survival. Supplementing definedstroma- andserum-free cultureconditions with recombinant DPT protein improved HSC clonogenicity. These findings illustrate a previously uncharacterized role of Dpt in maintaining HSCs ex vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1181-1192
Number of pages12
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016


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