EphB4 Expressing Stromal Cells Exhibit an Enhanced Capacity for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Maintenance

Thao M. Nguyen, Agnieszka Arthur, Romana Panagopoulos, Sharon Paton, John D. Hayball, Andrew C W Zannettino, Louise E. Purton, Koichi Matsuo, Stan Gronthos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


The tyrosine kinase receptor, EphB4, mediates cross-talk between stromal and hematopoietic populations during bone remodeling, fracture repair and arthritis, through its interactions with the ligand, ephrin-B2. This study demonstrated that transgenic EphB4 mice (EphB4 Tg), over-expressing EphB4 under the control of collagen type-1 promoter, exhibited higher frequencies of osteogenic cells and hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSC), correlating with a higher frequency of long-term culture-initiating cells (LTC-IC), compared with wild type (WT) mice. EphB4 Tg stromal feeder layers displayed a greater capacity to support LTC-IC in vitro, where blocking EphB4/ephrin-B2 interactions decreased LTC-IC output. Similarly, short hairpin RNA-mediated EphB4 knockdown in human bone marrow stromal cells reduced their ability to support high ephrin-B2 expressing CD34<sup>+</sup> HSC in LTC-IC cultures. Notably, irradiated EphB4 Tg mouse recipients displayed enhanced bone marrow reconstitution capacity and enhanced homing efficiency of transplanted donor hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells relative to WT controls. Studies examining the expression of hematopoietic supportive factors produced by stromal cells indicated that CXCL12, Angiopoietin-1, IL-6, FLT-3 ligand, and osteopontin expression were more highly expressed in EphB4 Tg stromal cells compared with WT controls. These findings indicate that EphB4 facilitates stromal-mediated support of hematopoiesis, and constitute a novel component of the HSC niche.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2838-2849
Number of pages12
JournalStem Cells
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sep 1


  • Bone marrow stromal cells
  • EphB
  • ephrinB
  • Haematopoietic stem cells
  • Mesenchymal stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Medicine

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    Nguyen, T. M., Arthur, A., Panagopoulos, R., Paton, S., Hayball, J. D., Zannettino, A. C. W., Purton, L. E., Matsuo, K., & Gronthos, S. (2015). EphB4 Expressing Stromal Cells Exhibit an Enhanced Capacity for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Maintenance. Stem Cells, 33(9), 2838-2849. https://doi.org/10.1002/stem.2069