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Impaired proliferative potential of bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes is associated with abnormal WNT signaling pathway.

Authors: Konstantia K. Pavlaki, Charalampos G CG. Pontikoglou, Anthi A. Demetriadou, Aristea K AK. Batsali, Athina A. Damianaki, Emmanouil E. Simantirakis, Michail M. Kontakis, Athanasios A. Galanopoulos, Ioannis I. Kotsianidis, Maria-Christina MC. Kastrinaki, Helen A HA. Papadaki
Published: 04/21/2014, Stem cells and development


It has been shown that bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) from patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) display defective proliferative potential. We have probed the impaired replicative capacity of culture-expanded MSCs in MDS patients (n=30) compared with healthy subjects (n=32) by studying senescence characteristics and gene expression associated with WNT/transforming growth factor-β1 (TGFB1) signaling pathways. We have also explored the consequences of the impaired patient MSC proliferative potential by investigating their differentiation potential and the capacity to support normal CD34(+) cell growth under coculture conditions. Patient MSCs displayed decreased gene expression of the senescence-associated cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors CDKN1A, CDKN2A, and CDKN2B, along with PARG1, whereas the mean telomere length was upregulated in patient MSCs. MDS-derived MSCs exhibited impaired capacity to support normal CD34(+) myeloid and erythroid colony formation. No significant changes were observed between patients and controls in gene expression related to TGFB1 pathway. Patient MSCs displayed upregulated non-canonical WNT expression, combined with downregulated canonical WNT expression and upregulated canonical WNT inhibitors. MDS-derived MSCs displayed defective osteogenic and adipogenic lineage priming under non-differentiating culture conditions. Pharmacological activation of canonical WNT signaling in patient MDSs led to an increase in cell proliferation and upregulation in the expression of early osteogenesis-related genes. This study indicates abnormal WNT signaling in MSCs of MDS patients and supports the concept of a primary MSC defect that might have a contributory effect in MDS natural history.

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