Adipogenic Mesenchymal Stromal Cells from Bone Marrow and Their Hematopoietic Supportive Role: Towards Understanding the Permissive Marrow Microenvironment in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Yevgeniya Le, Sylvain Fraineau, Priya Chandran, Mitchell Sabloff, Marjorie Brand, Jessie R Lavoie, Rémi Gagne, Michael Rosu-Myles, Carole L Yauk, Richard B Richardson, David S Allan
Stem Cell Reviews 2016, 12 (2): 235-44

PURPOSE: The role of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) in creating a permissive microenvironment that supports the emergence and progression of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is not well established. We investigated the extent to which adipogenic differentiation in normal MSCs alters hematopoietic supportive capacity and we undertook an in-depth comparative study of human bone marrow MSCs derived from newly diagnosed AML patients and healthy donors, including an assessment of adipogenic differentiation capacity.

FINDINGS: MSCs from healthy controls with partial induction of adipogenic differentiation, in comparison to MSCs undergoing partial osteogenic differentiation, expressed increased levels of hematopoietic factors and induced greater proliferation, decreased quiescence and reduced in vitro hematopoietic colony forming capacity of CD34(+) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). Moreover, we observed that AML-derived MSCs had markedly increased adipogenic potential and delayed osteogenic differentiation, while maintaining normal morphology and viability. AML-derived MSCs, however, possessed reduced proliferative capacity and decreased frequency of subendothelial quiescent MSCs compared to controls.

CONCLUSION: Our results support the notion of a bone marrow microenvironment characterized by increased propensity toward adipogenesis in AML, which may negatively impact normal hematopoiesis. Larger confirmatory studies are needed to understand the impact of various clinical factors. Novel leukemia treatments aimed at normalizing bone marrow niches may enhance the competitive advantage of normal hematopoietic progenitors over leukemia cells.

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