Dysregulation of erythropoiesis and altered erythroblastic NMDA receptor-mediated calcium influx in Lrfn2-deficient mice

Ryuta Maekawa, Hideki Muto, Minoru Hatayama, Jun Aruga
PloS One 2021, 16 (1): e0245624
LRFN2 encodes a synaptic adhesion-like molecule that physically interacts with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor 1 and its scaffold proteins. Previous studies in humans and mice have demonstrated its genetic association with neurodevelopmental disorders such as learning deficiency and autism. In this study, we showed that Lrfn2-deficient (KO) mice exhibit abnormalities of erythropoietic systems due to altered NMDA receptor function. In mature Lrfn2 KO male mice, peripheral blood tests showed multilineage abnormalities, including normocytic erythrocythemia, and reduced platelet volume. Colony forming unit assay using bone marrow cells revealed decreases in the counts of erythrocyte progenitors (CFU-E) as well as granulocytes and monocyte progenitors (CFU-GM). Whole bone marrow cell staining showed that serum erythropoietin (EPO) level was decreased and EPO receptor-like immunoreactivity was increased. Flow cytometry analysis of bone marrow cells revealed increased early erythroblast count and increased transferrin receptor expression in late erythroblasts. Further, we found that late erythroblasts in Lrfn2 KO exhibited defective NMDA receptor-mediated calcium influx, which was inhibited by the NMDA receptor antagonist MK801. These results indicate that Lrfn2 has biphasic roles in hematopoiesis and is associated with the functional integrity of NMDA receptors in hematopoietic cells. Furthermore, taken together with previous studies that showed the involvement of NMDA receptors in hematopoiesis, the results of this study indicate that Lrfn2 may regulate erythropoiesis through its regulatory activity on NMDA receptors.

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