Various mesenchymal cell types have been identified as critical components of the hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC) niche. Although several groups have described the generation of mesenchyme from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), the capacity of such cells to support hematopoiesis has not been reported. Here, we demonstrate that distinct mesenchymal subpopulations co-emerge from mesoderm during hPSC differentiation. Despite co-expression of common mesenchymal markers (CD73, CD105, CD90, and PDGFRβ), a subset of cells defined as CD146hiCD73hi expressed genes associated with the HSPC niche and supported the maintenance of functional HSPCs ex vivo, while CD146loCD73lo cells supported differentiation. Stromal support of HSPCs was contact dependent and mediated in part through high JAG1 expression and low WNT signaling. Molecular profiling revealed significant transcriptional similarity between hPSC-derived CD146++ and primary human CD146++ perivascular cells. The derivation of functionally diverse types of mesenchyme from hPSCs opens potential avenues to model the HSPC niche and develop PSC-based therapies.
- Journal Article