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Title: Understanding human mononuclear phagocyte ontogeny using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)
Author: Buchrieser, Julian
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 118X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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Tissue-resident macrophages (MΦ) such as microglia, Kupffer and Langerhans cells derive from Myb-independent yolk sac (YS) progenitors generated before the emergence of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Myb-independent YS-derived resident MΦ self-renew locally, independently of circulating adult monocytes and HSCs. In contrast, adult blood monocytes as well as infiltrating, gut and dermal MΦ derive from Myb-dependent HSCs and are less proliferative. These findings are derived from the mouse, using gene knock-outs and lineage tracing, but their applicability to human development has not been formally demonstrated. Here I use a human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) differentiation model of hematopoiesis, capable of monocyte/MΦ production over prolonged periods of time, as a tool to investigate human mononuclear phagocyte ontogeny. Using a transcriptomic approach I showed that hiPSC-derived monocytes/MΦ (iPS-Mo/MΦ) produced early in differentiation (first weeks) are more proliferative and less immunologically mature than iPS-Mo/MΦ produced at a later time point. I therefore hypothesised either that iPS-Mo/MΦ only become fully mature after several weeks of differentiation or that there are two developmentally distinct waves of MΦ produced over time. By comparing the transcription profile of iPS-Mo/MΦs to that of primary adult blood monocytes and fetal microglia I then showed that early and late iPS-Mo/MΦs were transcriptionally closer to fetal microglia than to adult blood monocytes. To further investigate if iPS-Mo/MΦs are indeed of the same developmental origin as MYB-independent MΦ such as microglia, I used a CRISPR-Cas9 knock-out strategy to show for the first time, that human iPS-Mo/MΦs develop in a MYB-independent, RUNX1 and SPI1 (PU.1)-dependent fashion. This result makes human iPS-Mo/MΦs developmentally related to, and a good model for, MYB-independent tissue-resident \Macros such as alveolar and kidney MΦs, microglia, Kupffer and Langerhans cells. Interestingly, while MYB was not required for the generation of iPS-Mo/MΦs, its knock-out resulted in an increase in iPS-Mo/MΦ production. To investigate this increase I developed two methods for quantifying the differentiation bottleneck occurring during hiPSC differentiation to iPS-Mo/MΦs. Those techniques highlighted a potential increase in progenitor cell generation in MYB KO cells and thus lay foundation to improve our technical understanding of EB differentiation and will enable enhanced manipulation of the EB model.
Supervisor: James, William Sponsor: Medical Research Council ; Heatley Merck Sharpe and Dohme
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Hematopoiesis ; Primitive hematopoiesis ; Macrophage ; MYB ; SPI1 ; RUNX1