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      Mechanisms of blood homeostasis: lineage tracking and a neutral model of cell populations in rhesus macaques

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          Abstract

          Background

          How a potentially diverse population of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) differentiates and proliferates to supply more than 10 11 mature blood cells every day in humans remains a key biological question. We investigated this process by quantitatively analyzing the clonal structure of peripheral blood that is generated by a population of transplanted lentivirus-marked HSCs in myeloablated rhesus macaques. Each transplanted HSC generates a clonal lineage of cells in the peripheral blood that is then detected and quantified through deep sequencing of the viral vector integration sites (VIS) common within each lineage. This approach allowed us to observe, over a period of 4-12 years, hundreds of distinct clonal lineages.

          Results

          While the distinct clone sizes varied by three orders of magnitude, we found that collectively, they form a steady-state clone size-distribution with a distinctive shape. Steady-state solutions of our model show that the predicted clone size-distribution is sensitive to only two combinations of parameters. By fitting the measured clone size-distributions to our mechanistic model, we estimate both the effective HSC differentiation rate and the number of active HSCs.

          Conclusions

          Our concise mathematical model shows how slow HSC differentiation followed by fast progenitor growth can be responsible for the observed broad clone size-distribution. Although all cells are assumed to be statistically identical, analogous to a neutral theory for the different clone lineages, our mathematical approach captures the intrinsic variability in the times to HSC differentiation after transplantation.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12915-015-0191-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 53

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          Lentiviral hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy benefits metachromatic leukodystrophy.

          Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) is an inherited lysosomal storage disease caused by arylsulfatase A (ARSA) deficiency. Patients with MLD exhibit progressive motor and cognitive impairment and die within a few years of symptom onset. We used a lentiviral vector to transfer a functional ARSA gene into hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from three presymptomatic patients who showed genetic, biochemical, and neurophysiological evidence of late infantile MLD. After reinfusion of the gene-corrected HSCs, the patients showed extensive and stable ARSA gene replacement, which led to high enzyme expression throughout hematopoietic lineages and in cerebrospinal fluid. Analyses of vector integrations revealed no evidence of aberrant clonal behavior. The disease did not manifest or progress in the three patients 7 to 21 months beyond the predicted age of symptom onset. These findings indicate that extensive genetic engineering of human hematopoiesis can be achieved with lentiviral vectors and that this approach may offer therapeutic benefit for MLD patients.
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            Hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy with a lentiviral vector in X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy.

            X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a severe brain demyelinating disease in boys that is caused by a deficiency in ALD protein, an adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette transporter encoded by the ABCD1 gene. ALD progression can be halted by allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We initiated a gene therapy trial in two ALD patients for whom there were no matched donors. Autologous CD34+ cells were removed from the patients, genetically corrected ex vivo with a lentiviral vector encoding wild-type ABCD1, and then re-infused into the patients after they had received myeloablative treatment. Over a span of 24 to 30 months of follow-up, we detected polyclonal reconstitution, with 9 to 14% of granulocytes, monocytes, and T and B lymphocytes expressing the ALD protein. These results strongly suggest that hematopoietic stem cells were transduced in the patients. Beginning 14 to 16 months after infusion of the genetically corrected cells, progressive cerebral demyelination in the two patients stopped, a clinical outcome comparable to that achieved by allogeneic HCT. Thus, lentiviral-mediated gene therapy of hematopoietic stem cells can provide clinical benefits in ALD.
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              Lentiviral hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy in patients with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.

              Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is an inherited immunodeficiency caused by mutations in the gene encoding WASP, a protein regulating the cytoskeleton. Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC) transplants can be curative, but, when matched donors are unavailable, infusion of autologous HSPCs modified ex vivo by gene therapy is an alternative approach. We used a lentiviral vector encoding functional WASP to genetically correct HSPCs from three WAS patients and reinfused the cells after a reduced-intensity conditioning regimen. All three patients showed stable engraftment of WASP-expressing cells and improvements in platelet counts, immune functions, and clinical scores. Vector integration analyses revealed highly polyclonal and multilineage haematopoiesis resulting from the gene-corrected HSPCs. Lentiviral gene therapy did not induce selection of integrations near oncogenes, and no aberrant clonal expansion was observed after 20 to 32 months. Although extended clinical observation is required to establish long-term safety, lentiviral gene therapy represents a promising treatment for WAS.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                tomchou@ucla.edu
                Journal
                BMC Biol
                BMC Biol
                BMC Biology
                BioMed Central (London )
                1741-7007
                20 October 2015
                20 October 2015
                2015
                : 13
                Affiliations
                [ ]Department of Physics, University of Toronto, St George Campus, Toronto, Canada
                [ ]Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
                [ ]UCLA AIDS Institute and Department of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
                [ ]Departments of Biomathematics and Mathematics, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
                Article
                191
                10.1186/s12915-015-0191-8
                4615871
                26486451
                © Goyal et al. 2015

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Categories
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2015

                Life sciences

                mathematical modeling, lineage tracking, stem cell clones, hematopoiesis

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