Letter | Published:

Haematopoietic stem cells depend on Gαs-mediated signalling to engraft bone marrow

Nature volume 459, pages 103107 (07 May 2009) | Download Citation



Haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) change location during development1 and circulate in mammals throughout life2, moving into and out of the bloodstream to engage bone marrow niches in sequential steps of homing, engraftment and retention3,4,5. Here we show that HSPC engraftment of bone marrow in fetal development is dependent on the guanine-nucleotide-binding protein stimulatory α subunit (Gαs). HSPCs from adult mice deficient in Gαs (s-/-) differentiate and undergo chemotaxis, but also do not home to or engraft in the bone marrow in adult mice and demonstrate a marked inability to engage the marrow microvasculature. If deleted after engraftment, Gαs deficiency did not lead to lack of retention in the marrow, rather cytokine-induced mobilization into the blood was impaired. Testing whether activation of Gαs affects HSPCs, pharmacological activators enhanced homing and engraftment in vivo. Gαs governs specific aspects of HSPC localization under physiological conditions in vivo and may be pharmacologically targeted to improve transplantation efficiency.

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Financial support for this work was provided by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Doris Duke Charitable Trust (D.T.S.), the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (C.P.L.) and the National Institutes of Health (G.B.A., C.P.L., H.M.K., D.T.S.).

Author information

Author notes

    • Gregor B. Adams
    •  & Ung-il Chung

    Present addresses: Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90033, USA (G.B.A.); Department of Bioengineering, Graduate Schools of Engineering and Medicine, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan (U.-i.C.).


  1. Center for Regenerative Medicine,

    • Gregor B. Adams
    • , Ian R. Alley
    • , Karissa T. Chabner
    • , Nathaniel T. Jeanson
    • , Cristina Lo Celso
    • , Emily S. Marsters
    •  & David T. Scadden
  2. Endocrine Unit and,

    • Ung-il Chung
    •  & Henry M. Kronenberg
  3. Advanced Microscopy Program, Center for Systems Biology and Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA

    • Charles P. Lin
  4. Harvard Stem Cell Institute,

    • Gregor B. Adams
    • , Cristina Lo Celso
    •  & David T. Scadden
  5. Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA

    • David T. Scadden
  6. National Institute for Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA

    • Min Chen
    •  & Lee S. Weinstein


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Competing interests

D.T.S. is a consultant for and stockholder of Fate Therapeutics, Inc.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to David T. Scadden.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Information

    This file contains Supplementary Figures 1-11 with Legends and Supplementary Movie Legends 1-2.


  1. 1.

    Supplementary Movie 1

    This movie shows Trafficking of Mx1-Cre WT LKS+ cells in bone marrow microvasculature (see file s1 for full movie legend).

  2. 2.

    Supplementary Movie 2

    This movie shows Trafficking of Mx1-Cre KO LKS+ cells in bone marrow microvasculature (see file s1 for full movie legend).

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