STEM CELLS TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE, vol.11, no.3, pp.310-321, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
Osteopetrosis is a rare inherited disease characterized by impaired osteoclast activity causing defective bone resorption and bone marrow aplasia. It is fatal in early childhood unless hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is performed. But, the transplant course is complicated with engraftment failure. Recently, osteoclasts have been described as the potential regulators of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche. Here we investigated the alterations in the HSC and mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) components of osteopetrotic niche and their interactions to mimic the stem cell dynamics/trafficking in the BM niche after HSC transplantation. Induced pluripotent stem cells were generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with osteopetrosis carrying TCIRG1 mutation. iPSC lines were differentiated into hematopoietic and myeloid progenitors, then into osteoclasts using a step-wise protocol. We first demonstrated a shift toward monocyte-macrophages lineage regarding hematopoietic differentiation potential of osteopetrotic iPSC-derived hematopoietic progenitors (HPCs) and phenotypically normal and functionally defective osteoclast formation. The expression of the genes involved in HSC homing and maintenance (Sdf-1, Jagged-1, Kit-L, and Opn) in osteopetrotic MSCs recovered significantly after coculture with healthy HPCs. Similarly, the restoration of phenotype, impaired differentiation, and migratory potential of osteopetrotic iHPCs were observed upon interaction with healthy MSCs. Our results establish significant alterations in both MSC and HPC compartments of the osteopetrotic niche, and support the impact of functionally impaired osteoclasts in defective niche formation.