Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), including umbilical cord blood CD34+ stem cells (UCB-CD34+), are used for the treatment of several diseases. Although different studies suggest that bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSC) support hematopoiesis, the exact mechanism remains unclear. Recently, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been described as a novel avenue of cell communication, which may mediate BM-MSC effect on HSC. In this work, we studied the interaction between UCB-CD34+ cells and BM-MSC derived EVs. First, by sequencing EV derived miRNAs and piRNAs we found that EVs contain RNAs able to influence UCB-CD34+ cell fate. Accordingly, a gene expression profile of UCB-CD34+ cells treated with EVs, identified about 100 down-regulated genes among those targeted by EV-derived miRNAs and piRNAs (e.g. miR-27b/MPL, miR-21/ANXA1, miR-181/EGR2), indicating that EV content was able to modify gene expression profile of receiving cells. Moreover, we demonstrated that UCB-CD34+ cells, exposed to EVs, significantly changed different biological functions, becoming more viable and less differentiated. UCB-CD34+ gene expression profile also identified 103 up-regulated genes, most of them codifying for chemokines, cytokines and their receptors, involved in chemotaxis of different BM cells, an essential function of hematopoietic reconstitution. Finally, the exposure of UCB-CD34+ cells to EVs caused an increased expression CXCR4, paralleled by an in vivo augmented migration from peripheral blood to BM niche in NSG mice. This study demonstrates the existence of a powerful cross talk between BM-MSC and UCB-CD34+ cells, mediated by EVs, providing new insight in the biology of cord blood transplantation.
- Extracellular vesicles
- Mesenchymal stem cells
- Umbilical cord blood stem cells
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