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Depleting dietary valine permits nonmyeloablative mouse hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

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Science  02 Dec 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6316, pp. 1152-1155
DOI: 10.1126/science.aag3145

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How to maintain hematopoietic stem cells

Hematopoiesis provides the body with a continuous supply of blood cells (see the Perspective by Sommerkamp and Trumpp). Taya et al. report that amino acid content is important for hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) maintenance in vitro and in vivo. Dietary valine restriction seems to “empty” the mouse bone marrow niche. Ito et al. used single-cell approaches and cell transplantation to identify a subset of HSCs at the top of the HSC hierarchy. Self-renewal relied on the induction of mitophagy, a quality-control process linked to a cell's metabolic state. Both studies may be helpful in improving clinical bone marrow transplantation.

Science, this issue p. 1103, p. 1152; see also p. 1156

Abstract

A specialized bone marrow microenvironment (niche) regulates hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal and commitment. For successful donor-HSC engraftment, the niche must be emptied via myeloablative irradiation or chemotherapy. However, myeloablation can cause severe complications and even mortality. Here we report that the essential amino acid valine is indispensable for the proliferation and maintenance of HSCs. Both mouse and human HSCs failed to proliferate when cultured in valine-depleted conditions. In mice fed a valine-restricted diet, HSC frequency fell dramatically within 1 week. Furthermore, dietary valine restriction emptied the mouse bone marrow niche and afforded donor-HSC engraftment without chemoirradiative myeloablation. These findings indicate a critical role for valine in HSC maintenance and suggest that dietary valine restriction may reduce iatrogenic complications in HSC transplantation.

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