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Blood. 2010 Dec 16;116(25):5528-35. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-04-279216. Epub 2010 Sep 2.

Role for vitamin D receptor in the neuronal control of the hematopoietic stem cell niche.

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Department of Medicine, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan.


Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) are released from the bone marrow to the circulation by the cytokine, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, via sympathetic nervous system (SNS)-mediated osteoblast suppression. Because the orientation of HSPCs in their osteoblastic niche is reported to be guided by [Ca(2+)], we speculated on a cooperation between the calcium-regulating hormones and SNS in the regulation of HSPC trafficking. Here, we present the severe impairment of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-induced osteoblast suppression and subsequent HSPC mobilization in vitamin D receptor (VDR)-deficient mice. In osteoblasts, functional VDR possessing, at least in part, a transcriptional activity, was specifically induced by β2-adrenergic receptor (AR) agonists. While β2-AR agonists transiently increased mRNA expression of Vdr and its downstream gene, Rankl, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D(3) sustained the β2-AR-induced Rankl expression at high level by stabilizing VDR protein. These data suggest that VDR is essential for durable β2-AR signaling in the stem cell niche. Our study demonstrates not only a novel function of VDR as a critical modulator of HSPC trafficking, but also the presence of a SNS-mediated, bone-remodeling mechanism through VDR. VDR contributes to brain-bone-blood integration in an unanticipated way distinct from other classical calcium-regulating hormones.

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