Little evidence for developmental plasticity of adult hematopoietic stem cells.
To rigorously test the in vivo cell fate specificity of bone marrow (BM) hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), we generated chimeric animals by transplantation of a single green fluorescent protein (GFP)-marked HSC into lethally irradiated nontransgenic recipients. Single HSCs robustly reconstituted peripheral blood leukocytes in these animals, but did not contribute appreciably to nonhematopoietic tissues, including brain, kidney, gut, liver, and muscle. Similarly, in GFP+:GFP- parabiotic mice, we found substantial chimerism of hematopoietic but not nonhematopoietic cells. These data indicate that "transdifferentiation" of circulating HSCs and/or their progeny is an extremely rare event, if it occurs at all.
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