Introduction: Primary myelofibrosis (PMF) is a clonal stem cell disorder characterized by myeloid dominant hematopoiesis and dysregulated proliferation of fibroblasts in the bone marrow. However, how these aberrant myeloid cells and fibroblasts are produced remains unclear. Aim and methods: In this study, we examined in vivo engraftment kinetics of PMF patient-derived CD34+ cells in immunecompromised NOD/SCID/IL2rgKO (NSG) mice. Engrafted human cells were analyzed with flow cytometry, and proliferation of fibroblastic cells and bone marrow fibrosis were assessed with the histo-pathological examination. Results: Transplantation of PMF patient-derived circulating CD34+ fractions into NSG newborns recapitulates clinical features of human PMF. Engraftment of human CD45+ leukocytes resulted in anemia and myeloid hyperplasia accompanied by bone marrow fibrosis by six months post-transplantation. Fibrotic bone marrow contained CD45-vimentin+ cells of both human and mouse origin, suggesting that circulating malignant CD34+ subsets contribute to myelofibrotic changes in PMF through direct and indirect mechanisms. Conclusion: A patient-derived xenotransplantation (PDX) model of PMF allows in vivo examination of disease onset and propagation originating from immature CD34+ cells and will support the investigation of pathogenesis and development of therapeutic modalities for the disorder.
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