Estrogen deficiency expands hemopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) and mature blood lineages, but the involved mechanism and the affected HSPC populations are mostly unknown. Here we show that ovariectomy (ovx) expands short-term HSPCs (ST-HSPCs) and improves blood cell engraftment and host survival after bone marrow (BM) transplantation through a dual role of the T-cell costimulatory molecule CD40 ligand (CD40L). This surface receptor is required for ovx to stimulate T-cell production of Wnt10b, a Wnt ligand that activates Wnt signaling in HSPCs and stromal cells (SCs). Moreover, CD40L is required for ovx to increase SC production of the hemopoietic cytokines interleukin (IL)-6, IL-7, and granulocyte macrophage-colony-stimulating factor. Attesting to the relevance of CD40L and Wnt10b, ovx fails to expand ST-HSPCs in CD40L-null mice and in animals lacking global or T-cell expression of Wnt10b. In summary, T cells expressed CD40L, and the resulting increased production of Wnt10b and hemopoietic cytokines by T cells and SCs, respectively, plays a pivotal role in the mechanism by which ovx regulates hemopoiesis. The data suggest that antiestrogens may represent pharmacological targets to improve ST-HSPC function through activation of the microenvironment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology