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Blood. 2012 Sep 27;120(13):2589-99. Epub 2012 Jun 4.

Mouse hematopoietic cell-targeted STAT3 deletion: stem/progenitor cell defects, mitochondrial dysfunction, ROS overproduction, and a rapid aging-like phenotype.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5181, USA.


Nuclear transcription factor Stat3 is important for proper regulation of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) and hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC) proliferation, survival, and cytokine signaling responses. A new, noncanonical role for Stat3 in mitochondrial function has been discovered recently. However, there is little information on the role(s) of mitochondrial Stat3 in HSC/HPC function, especially potential effects of Stat3/mitochondrial dysregulation in human diseases. We investigated hematopoietic cell-targeted deletion of the STAT3 gene in HSCs/HPCs with a focus on mitochondrial function. We found that STAT3(-/-) mice, which have a very shortened lifespan, dysfunctional/dysregulated mitochondrial function and excessive reactive oxygen species production in HSCs/HPCs that coincides with pronounced defects in function. These animals have a blood phenotype with similarities to premature aging and to human diseases of myelodysplastic syndrome and myeloproliferative neoplasms such as erythroid dysplasia, anemia, excessive myeloproliferation, and lymphomyeloid ratio shifts. We show herein that the lifespan of STAT3(-/-) animals is lengthened by treatment with a reactive oxygen species scavenger, which lessened the severity of the blood phenotype. These data suggest a need for more detailed studies of role(s) of Stat3 in HSC/HPC mitochondrial function in human diseases and raise the idea that mitochondrial Stat3 could be used as a potential therapeutic target.

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