The developmental pathway for human megakaryocytes remains unclear, and the definition of pure unipotent megakaryocyte progenitor is still controversial. Using single-cell transcriptome analysis, we have identified a cluster of cells within immature hematopoietic stem- and progenitor-cell populations that specifically expresses genes related to the megakaryocyte lineage. We used CD41 as a positive marker to identify these cells within the CD34+CD38+IL-3RαdimCD45RA- common myeloid progenitor (CMP) population. These cells lacked erythroid and granulocyte-macrophage potential but exhibited robust differentiation into the megakaryocyte lineage at a high frequency, both in vivo and in vitro. The efficiency and expansion potential of these cells exceeded those of conventional bipotent megakaryocyte/erythrocyte progenitors. Accordingly, the CD41+ CMP was defined as a unipotent megakaryocyte progenitor (MegP) that is likely to represent the major pathway for human megakaryopoiesis, independent of canonical megakaryocyte-erythroid lineage bifurcation. In the bone marrow of patients with essential thrombocythemia, the MegP population was significantly expanded in the context of a high burden of Janus kinase 2 mutations. Thus, the prospectively isolatable and functionally homogeneous human MegP will be useful for the elucidation of the mechanisms underlying normal and malignant human hematopoiesis. (Blood. 2017;129(25): 3332-3343).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology