Aging degrades hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) functions, including stress response; however, the involved molecular pathways are incompletely defined. Murine BM conditionally deleted for One-Twenty-Two-1 (Ott1), is able to maintain lifelong hematopoiesis and has preserved numbers of long-term HSCs, yet cannot repopulate nor sustain itself after transplantation against a competitor even when Ott1 is excised after engraftment. We show, specifically under replicative stress, that Ott1-deleted HSCs have a significant reduction of the G0 cell-cycle fraction associated with self-renewal and undergo early failure. Therefore, Ott1 is required to preserve HSC quiescence during stress but not steady-state hematopoiesis. Reduced tolerance of replicative stress, increased myeloid potential, and greater absolute numbers are mutual characteristics of both Ott1-deleted and aged HSCs, and comparison of their gene expression profiles reveals a shared signature. Ott1-deleted HSCs share multiple aging-associated physiologic changes, including increases in NF-κB activation and DNA damage. Loss of Ott1 causes increased reactive oxygen species; however, antioxidant treatment does not rescue the competitive defect, indicating the existence of additional essential Ott1-dependent HSC pathways. In conclusion, our data establish a requirement for Ott1 in stress hematopoiesis and suggest that Ott1-dependent processes may converge with those affected by aging.

  • Submitted January 9, 2012.
  • Accepted March 25, 2012.
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