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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24356

Title: Intercellular Feedback in Hematopoiesis
Authors: Kirouac, Daniel
Advisor: Zandstra, Peter W.
Department: Biomedical Engineering
Keywords: stem cell
Issue Date: 21-Apr-2010
Abstract: Despite the importance of inter-cellular (between cell) communication networks in regulating homeostasis in multicellular organisms, very little is known about their topology, dynamics, or functional significance. Inter-cellular communication networks are particularly relevant in stem cell biology, as stem cell fate decisions (self-renewal, proliferation, lineage specification) are tightly regulated based on physiological demand. Using human blood stem cell cultures as an experimental paradigm, we present an integrated experimental and computational approach to interrogate a hierarchically organized tissue network. We have developed a novel mathematical model of blood stem cell development incorporating cell-level kinetic parameters as functions of secreted molecule-mediated inter-cellular networks. By relation to quantitative cellular assays, our model is capable of predictively simulating many disparate features of both normal and malignant hematopoiesis, relating internal parameters and microenvironmental variables to measurable cell fate outcomes. Through integrated in silico and experimental analyses we show blood stem and progenitor cell fate is regulated by cell-cell feedback, and can be controlled non-cell autonomously by dynamically perturbing inter-cellular signalling. Furthermore, we have compiled genome-scale molecular profiles (transcriptome and secretome), publicly available databases, and literature mining to reconstruct soluble factor-mediated inter-cellular signalling networks regulating cell fate decisions. We find that dynamic interactions between positive and negative regulators, in the context of tuneable cell culture parameters, tip the balance between stem cell supportive vs. non-supportive conditions. The cell-cytokine interactions can be summarized as an antagonistic positive-negative feedback circuit wherein stem cell self-renewal is regulated by a balance of megakaryocyte-derived stimulatory factors vs. monocyte-derived inhibitory factors. To understand how the experimentally identified positive and negative regulatory signals are integrated at the intra-cellular level, we define a literature-derived blood stem cell self-renewal network wherein these extracellular signals converge for coherent processing into cell fate decisions. In summary, this work demonstrates the utility of integrating experimental and computational methods to explore complex cellular systems, and represents the first attempt to comprehensively elucidate non-autonomous signals balancing stem cell homeostasis and regeneration.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24356
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering - Doctoral theses

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