Zebrafish Embryonic Stromal Trunk (ZEST) cells support hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) proliferation, survival, and differentiation

Campbell, C., Su, T., Lau, R.P., Shah, A., Laurie, P.C., Avalos, B., Aggio, J., Harris, E., Traver, D., Stachura, D.L.
Experimental hematology   43(12): 1047-61 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Traver, David
developmental hematopoiesis, hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, hematopoietic stem cells, in vitro hematopoietic culture, zebrafish embryonic stromal trunk cells
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation/physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation/physiology*
  • Cell Survival/physiology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/cytology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/metabolism
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells/cytology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells/metabolism*
  • Kidney/cytology
  • Kidney/metabolism*
  • Stromal Cells/cytology
  • Stromal Cells/metabolism*
  • Zebrafish/metabolism*
26391449 Full text @ Exp. Hematol.
Forward genetic screens in zebrafish have been utilized to identify genes essential for the generation of primitive blood and the emergence of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), but have not elucidated genes essential for hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) proliferation and differentiation due to a lack of methodologies to functionally assess these processes. We previously described techniques to test the developmental potential of HSPCs by culturing them on zebrafish kidney stromal (ZKS) cells, derived from the main site of hematopoiesis in the adult teleost. Here we describe an additional primary stromal cell line we refer to as zebrafish embryonic stromal trunk (ZEST) cells, derived from tissue surrounding the embryonic dorsal aorta, the site of HSC emergence in developing fish. ZEST cells encouraged HSPC differentiation towards the myeloid, lymphoid, and erythroid pathways when assessed by morphological and qRT-PCR analyses. Additionally, ZEST cells significantly expanded the number of cultured HSPCs in vitro, indicating that these stromal cells are supportive of both HSPC proliferation and multilineage differentiation. Examination of ZEST cells indicates that they express numerous cytokines and Notch ligands, and possess endothelial characteristics. Further characterization of ZEST cells should prove to be invaluable in understanding the complex signaling cascades instigated by the embryonic hematopoietic niche required to expand and differentiate HSPCs. Elucidating these processes and identifying possibilities for the modulation of these molecular pathways should allow the in vitro expansion of HSPCs for a multitude of therapeutic uses.
Genes / Markers
Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes