Compromised Host Stem Cell Competitiveness Affords Fanconi Stem Cell Engraftment in C-Kit Mutant Humanized Mice

Author:

LIU Wei1,Song Yuanbin2,Gbyli Rana3,Sefik Esen4,Biancon Giulia1,Gao Yimeng1,Philbrick William5,Patel Amisha1,Tebaldi Toma1,Nalepa Grzegorz6,Kupfer Gary M.7,Flavell Richard8,Halene Stephanie1

Affiliation:

1. Section of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine and Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

2. State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China; Collaborative Innovation Center of Cancer Medicine; Department of Hematologic Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China

3. Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT

4. Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

5. Diabetes Endocrinology Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

6. Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN

7. Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC

8. Department of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Abstract

Abstract Humanized mouse model is a powerful tool for the study of human hematopoiesis and hematologic diseases in vivo. However, existing models continue to be limited by absent engraftment of stem cells with inherent growth defects, especially in bone marrow failure (BMF) disorders such as low-grade myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and Fanconi Anemia (FA). Previously, we presented a highly efficient MDS/AML PDX model in cytokine-humanized MISTRG mice, that express human M-CSF, IL-3, GM-CSF and THPO in the background of the SIRPα - humanized rag -/- IL2Rg -/- mice. MISTRG mice support efficient, faithful and long-term MDS hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) engraftment with multi-lineage representation. Similar to MDS, FA stem cells are defective and sensitive to toxic stress conferred by inflammation or irradiation. Irradiation, required in conventional mice as pre-conditioning, increases the risk of secondary malignancies, induces activation of inflammatory pathways and may damage the bone marrow microenvironment. In this study, we present MISTRG6kit W41 mice that in addition to the above cytokines express human IL-6, which improves lymphoid development, and that were CRISPR modified to introduce the white spotting 41 mutation in c-Kit (c-kit W41), which results in partial loss of c-kit function in the murine host stem and progenitor cells. To characterize this mouse model, we compare the engraftment capacity between MISTRG6 and MISTRG6kit W41 mice. We find that the HSPCs from both healthy donor and low grade MDS patient can be more efficiently propagated in MISTRG6Kit W41 mice and that they can be serially transplanted. Human cells are detectable at higher levels in PB of MISTRG6Kit W41 mice as early as 8 weeks post transplantation. As previously described, c-kit mutation enhances human erythroid engraftment while multi-lineage engraftment is maintained in engrafted MISTRG6Kit W41 mice. Therefore, MISTRG6Kit W41 mice offer a better host environment that supports human hematopoietic expansion without irradiation. FA is an inherited genetic disease carrying FA gene mutations associated with DNA damage and cancer predisposition and marked by BMF, MDS and AML. FA HSPCs cannot be expanded or grown for sufficient periods in vitro, and existing mouse models have failed to demonstrate engraftment of primary cells from FA patient. We transplanted a MDS sample from a FANCC mutant patient into MISTRG6Kit W41 mice giving rise to a myeloid predominant graft that could be successfully serially transplanted. Moreover, non-transformed FA HSPCs from 2 FANCA and 2 FANCG mutant patients were successfully engrafted in MISTRG6Kit W41 mice. In summary, MISTRG mice with human IL-6 expression and c-Kit W41 mutation provide a more efficient and convenient way for pre-clinical studies of BMFs such as FA and low-grade MDS with maintenance of an intact humanized stem cell niche, and this is the first time we saw primary cells from FA patient propagate in mouse model. We believe that our model would be highly beneficial to the study of additional diseases associated with DNA damage or cancer predisposition, such as dyskeratosis congenita or Schwachman-Diamond syndrome. Disclosures No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Publisher

American Society of Hematology

Subject

Cell Biology,Hematology,Immunology,Biochemistry

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