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3430 Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells Have Altered Mitochondrial Activity after Stem Cell Transplantation

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 701. Experimental Transplantation: Basic and Translational: Poster II
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Research, Translational Research, hematopoiesis, pediatric, metabolism, Biological Processes, Study Population, Human
Sunday, December 10, 2023, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Tiziana Coppola, MD1, Olivia Perrone, MD1, James Batram, PhD2*, Waseem Nasr, PhD2, Sydney Treichel2*, Juying Xu2*, Kasiani Myers, MD3 and Marie-Dominique Filippi, PhD2,4

1Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
2Division of Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
32. Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati, Division of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Immune Deficiency, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
4Cincinnati Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Cincinnati, OH

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) give rise to the entire blood system. With their high regenerative potential, they are sometimes the only curative option for many malignancies. The success of HSCT depends on both the quantity of HSCs and on their ability to produce life-long blood. However, their regenerative potential is not unlimited. Transplanted HSCs sustain injury that alters their subsequent ability to generate blood cells. This leads to ineffective hematopoiesis and can ultimately lead to graft failure. Injury to HSCs is also a risk factor for secondary neoplasms, including leukemia. Our goal is to elucidate the mechanisms behind post-transplant HSC decline. Mitochondria are critically important for HSC function (Filippi Exp Hematol 2021). During regeneration of the bone marrow, HSCs become activated and undergo mitochondrial reprogramming, including reorganization of the mitochondrial network and enhanced mitochondrial activity (Filippi et al Blood 2019, Ito et al Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 2014). However, after transplantation, HSCs accumulate mitochondria that are abnormal in organization and activity. These abnormal mitochondria lead to decline of HSC function and ineffective hematopoiesis (Hinge et al Cell Stem Cell 2020). While these findings have been replicated in murine models, it has not been studied within the human system. Our hypothesis is that after transplantation, human HSCs have altered mitochondria leading to ineffective hematopoiesis.

We examined changes in HSC function using post-transplant samples of patient’s bone marrow and a xenotransplant system (human CD34+ peripheral blood stem cells transplanted into sublethally irradiated immunodeficient NOD/SCID/IL-2 receptor-γ null mice). We first measured mitochondrial membrane potential using tetramethyl rhodamine ethyl ester (TMRE) dye and analyzed via flow cytometry. Three to six months after transplant in the xenotransplant model, we found that the mitochondrial membrane potential of huCD34+CD38-CD90+ HSCs was similar to the non-transplanted HSCs. However, huCD34+CD38+ progenitors exhibited a drastic 3-fold increase in mitochondrial membrane potential in comparison to the non-transplanted, huCD34+CD38+ progenitor cells. The mitochondrial membrane potential of CD34+CD38+ progenitors from transplanted bone marrow patient samples was also higher than non-transplanted CD34+CD38+ bone marrow control cells. To understand if alterations in mitochondrial activity affect HSC differentiation, we placed xenotransplanted HSCs into in vitro culture. Post-transplanted huCD34+ cells failed to expand within 6 days of in vitro culture (serum-free culture with self-renewing cytokines, SCF+TPO+FLT3) compared to huCD34+ control. In subsequent differentiation assays, post-transplanted huCD34+ cultures gave rise to myeloid cells only. This contrasts with control huCD34+ cultures that produced myeloid, erythroid, and megakaryocytic cells. Interestingly, if the post-transplanted HSCs were given serum and cytokines for differentiation after only 3 days in self-renewing conditions, the cultured cells expanded similarly to non-transplanted HSCs and generated myeloid, erythroid, and megakaryocytic cells. This suggests that transplanted HSCs have decreased proliferation and differentiation ability in comparison to non-transplanted HSCs and respond differently to cytokines in vitro. This could account for ineffective hematopoiesis observed in some post-transplant patients.

In conclusion, this study indicates that both mitochondrial activity and in-vitro growth change in HSCs after transplantation, despite re-establishing quiescence. This indicates that human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells incur injury after transplantation. These findings are clinically important as the changes in mitochondrial activity in HSCs may play a role in post-transplant hematopoietic stem cell decline. Future single cell RNA sequencing analyses will provide mechanistic information regarding post-transplant changes in metabolism and potential targets for improving HSC function in transplant patients.

Disclosures: Myers: Elixirgen Therapeutics: Other: Industry sponsored clinical trial ; Incyte: Other: Clinical trial funding.

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