Haematopoietic stem cells in perisinusoidal niches are protected from ageing


With ageing, intrinsic haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) activity decreases, resulting in impaired tissue homeostasis, reduced engraftment following transplantation and increased susceptibility to diseases. However, whether ageing also affects the HSC niche, and thereby impairs its capacity to support HSC function, is still widely debated. Here, by using in-vivo long-term label-retention assays we demonstrate that aged label-retaining HSCs, which are, in old mice, the most quiescent HSC subpopulation with the highest regenerative capacity and cellular polarity, reside predominantly in perisinusoidal niches. Furthermore, we demonstrate that sinusoidal niches are uniquely preserved in shape, morphology and number on ageing. Finally, we show that myeloablative chemotherapy can selectively disrupt aged sinusoidal niches in the long term, which is linked to the lack of recov-ery of endothelial Jag2 at sinusoids. Overall, our data characterize the functional alterations of the aged HSC niche and unveil that perisinusoidal niches are uniquely preserved and thereby protect HSCs from ageing.

Nature Cell Biology