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PLoS One. 2016 Apr 18;11(4):e0153860. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153860. eCollection 2016.

Notch Stimulates Both Self-Renewal and Lineage Plasticity in a Subset of Murine CD9High Committed Megakaryocytic Progenitors.

Weiss-Gayet M1,2,3, Starck J1,2,3, Chaabouni A1,2,3, Chazaud B1,2,3, Morlé F1,2,3.

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Institut NeuroMyoGène (INMG), Université Claude Bernard Lyon1, Villeurbanne, France.
INSERM U1217, Villeurbanne, France.
CNRS UMR 5310, Villeurbanne, France.


This study aimed at reinvestigating the controversial contribution of Notch signaling to megakaryocytic lineage development. For that purpose, we combined colony assays and single cells progeny analyses of purified megakaryocyte-erythroid progenitors (MEP) after short-term cultures on recombinant Notch ligand rDLL1. We showed that Notch activation stimulated the SCF-dependent and preferential amplification of Kit+ erythroid and bipotent progenitors while favoring commitment towards the erythroid at the expense of megakaryocytic lineage. Interestingly, we also identified a CD9High MEP subset that spontaneously generated almost exclusively megakaryocytic progeny mainly composed of single megakaryocytes. We showed that Notch activation decreased the extent of polyploidization and maturation of megakaryocytes, increased the size of megakaryocytic colonies and surprisingly restored the generation of erythroid and mixed colonies by this CD9High MEP subset. Importantly, the size increase of megakaryocytic colonies occurred at the expense of the production of single megakaryocytes and the restoration of colonies of alternative lineages occurred at the expense of the whole megakaryocytic progeny. Altogether, these results indicate that Notch activation is able to extend the number of divisions of MK-committed CD9High MEPs before terminal maturation while allowing a fraction of them to generate alternative lineages. This unexpected plasticity of MK-committed progenitors revealed upon Notch activation helps to better understand the functional promiscuity between megakaryocytic lineage and hematopoietic stem cells.

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