Quantitative stability of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell clonal output in rhesus macaques receiving transplants

Samson J. Koelle, Diego A. Espinoza, Chuanfeng Wu, Jason Xu, Rong Lu, Brian Li, Robert E. Donahue and Cynthia E. Dunbar

Key Points

  • Output from individual rhesus macaque hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells is stable for years, with little evidence of clonal succession.

  • Individual clones may display stable myeloid or lymphoid bias for many years.

Publisher's Note: There is an Inside Blood Commentary on this article in this issue.


Autologous transplantation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells lentivirally labeled with unique oligonucleotide barcodes flanked by sequencing primer targets enables quantitative assessment of the self-renewal and differentiation patterns of these cells in a myeloablative rhesus macaque model. Compared with other approaches to clonal tracking, this approach is highly quantitative and reproducible. We documented stable multipotent long-term hematopoietic clonal output of monocytes, granulocytes, B cells, and T cells from a polyclonal pool of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in 4 macaques observed for up to 49 months posttransplantation. A broad range of clonal behaviors characterized by contribution level and biases toward certain cell types were extremely stable over time. Correlations between granulocyte and monocyte clonalities were greatest, followed by correlations between these cell types and B cells. We also detected quantitative expansion of T cell–biased clones consistent with an adaptive immune response. In contrast to recent data from a nonquantitative murine model, there was little evidence for clonal succession after initial hematopoietic reconstitution. These findings have important implications for human hematopoiesis, given the similarities between macaque and human physiologies.

  • Submitted July 22, 2016.
  • Accepted January 4, 2017.
View Full Text