Impaired mobilization of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells in C5-deficient mice supports the pivotal involvement of innate immunity in this process and reveals novel promobilization effects of granulocytes

H M Lee, W Wu, M Wysoczynski, R Liu, E K Zuba-Surma, M Kucia, J Ratajczak, M Z Ratajczak
Leukemia 2009, 23 (11): 2052-62
We reported that complement cascade (CC) becomes activated in bone marrow (BM) during granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) mobilization of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) and showed that, although third CC component (C3)-deficient mice are easy mobilizers, fifth CC component (C5)-deficient mice mobilize very poorly. To explain this, we postulated that activation/cleavage of CC releases C3a and C5a anaphylatoxins that differently regulate mobilization. Accordingly, C3a, by enhancing responsiveness of HSPCs to decreasing concentrations of stromal-derived growth factor-1 (SDF-1) in BM, prevents mobilization and promotes their BM retention. Therefore, in this study, we focused on the mobilization-enhancing role of C5a. We found that C5a receptor (C5aR) is not expressed on the surface of HSPCs, and that C5a-mediated promobilization effects are mediated by stimulation of granulocytes. Overall, our data support the following model. First C5aR(+) granulocytes are chemoattracted by plasma C5 cleavage fragments, being the first wave of cells leaving BM. This facilitates a subsequent egress of HSPCs. In the next step, after leaving BM, granulocytes undergo degranulation in response to plasma C5a and secrete some cationic peptides (cathelicidin, beta-defensin) that, as shown here for the first time, highly enhance the responsiveness of HSPCs to plasma SDF-1 gradient. In conclusion, our data reveal the underappreciated central role of innate immunity in mobilization, in which C5 cleavage fragments through granulocytes orchestrate this process.

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