Date of Graduation


Document Type

Dissertation (PhD)

Program Affiliation

Biomedical Sciences

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Paul J. Simmons, PhD

Committee Member

Brian R. Davis, PhD

Committee Member

Guillermina Lozano, PhD

Committee Member

Karen Hirschi, PhD

Committee Member

Mikhail G. Kolonin, PhD


Bone marrow (BM) stromal cells are ascribed two key functions, 1) stem cells for non-hematopoietic tissues (MSC) and 2) as components of the hematopoietic stem cell niche. Current approaches studying the stromal cell system in the mouse are complicated by the low yield of clonogenic progenitors (CFU-F). Given the perivascular location of MSC in BM, we developed an alternative methodology to isolate MSC from mBM. An intact ‘plug’ of bone marrow is expelled from bones and enzymatically disaggregated to yield a single cell suspension. The recovery of CFU-F (1917.95+199) reproducibly exceeds that obtained using the standard BM flushing technique (14.32+1.9) by at least 2 orders of magnitude (P<0.001; N = 8) with an accompanying 196-fold enrichment of CFU-F frequency. Purified BM stromal and vascular endothelial cell populations are readily obtained by FACS. A detailed immunophenotypic analysis of lineage depleted BM identified PDGFRαβPOS stromal cell subpopulations distinguished by their expression of CD105. Both subpopulations retained their original phenotype of CD105 expression in culture and demonstrate MSC properties of multi-lineage differentiation and the ability to transfer the hematopoietic microenvironment in vivo. To determine the capacity of either subpopulation to support long-term multi-lineage reconstituting HSCs, we fractionated BM stromal cells into either the LinNEGPDGFRαβPOSCD105POS and LINNEGPDGFRαβPOSCD105LOW/- populations and tested their capacity to support LT-HSC by co-culturing each population with either 1 or 10 HSCs for 10 days. Following the 10 day co-culture period, both populations supported transplantable HSCs from 10 cells/well co-cultures demonstrating high levels of donor repopulation with an average of 65+23.6% chimerism from CD105POS co-cultures and 49.3+19.5% chimerism from the CD105NEG co-cultures. However, we observed a significant difference when mice were transplanted with the progeny of a single co-cultured HSC. In these experiments, CD105POS co-cultures (100%) demonstrated long-term multi- lineage reconstitution, while only 4 of 8 mice (50%) from CD105NEG -single HSC co-cultures demonstrated long-term reconstitution, suggesting a more limited expansion of functional stem cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the PDGFRαβCD105POS stromal cell subpopulation is distinguished by a unique capacity to support the expansion of long-term reconstituting HSCs in vitro.


Bone Marrow Stromal Stem Cells, Hematopoietic Microenvironment, HSCs, CFU-F, Clonogenic, In Vivo Bone Formation, MSC, Hierarchy, Stem Cells