Exploring Experimental Hematology: August 2020 (Volume 88)

In this issue of Simply Blood, we are highlighting and deconstructing an invited perspective from the latest Experimental Hematology, "Lineage commitment of hematopoietic stem cells and progenitors: insights from recent single-cell and lineage tracing technologies" by Loughran et al. This perspective summarizes the Summer 2019 ISEH New Investigator Committee Webinar, "Changing concepts in lineage commitment" and update the recent progress of understanding lineage commitment using lineage tracing combined with single-cell transcriptomics and proteomics. (Loughran et al., 2020)


My reason to read this paper:

The self-renewal and multilineage differentiation abilities are two essential characteristics of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). In the history of the hematopoietic field, to understand the cell fate determination and lineage potential from each HSC and progenitor population, people have taken various strategies including colony-forming assays, stromal co-culture, thymic organ cultures, and transplantation assays. These studies established the current concept of hematopoiesis, described as a lineage tree, in which HSC sits on the top of the hierarchy and is branching into lymphoid and myeloid lineages. However, it has been recognized that the differentiation into each blood lineage is not that simple. Recent single-cell technologies resolve the controversies of HSPC differentiation potential and molecularly confirm the ideas that have been proposed but yet to be evident. This perspective concisely reviews a portion of recent updates. 



(A) Classic hematopoietic tree mode. (B) HSC differentiation occurs through phenotypically defined progenitor populations with heterogenous lineage potential. (C) Lineage tracing, combined with single-cell analysis, suggests that Megakaryopoiesis is the predominant fate of HSCs in native hematopoiesis and that multiple lineage trajectories generate equivalent mature hematopoietic cell types.

The reason you should read this paper:

1. Hematopoiesis has a long history. If you are a new trainee in the field, it is indispensable to understand the concept of the hematopoietic system. This perspective introduces how the concept is currently changing by recent single-cell technologies. In 2020, there are more papers published regarding single-cell tracing, HSC self-renewal, and fate determination. Reading this manuscript would be a good starting point for you to go back to the historical reviews and to capture this transition.

2. This perspective is a summary of the Summer 2019 ISEH New Investigator Committee Webinar, "Changing concepts in lineage commitment." One of the good reasons to become an ISEH member is that such useful webinars are available for free! Be a member today!





Momoko Yoshimoto MD., PhD
Associate Professor 
Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, 
Institute of Molecular Medicine,
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

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