In vivo engineering of bone tissues with hematopoietic functions and mixed chimerism [Applied Biological Sciences]
Synthetic biomimetic matrices with osteoconductivity and osteoinductivity have been developed to regenerate bone tissues. However, whether such systems harbor donor marrow in vivo and support mixed chimerism remains unknown. We devised a strategy to engineer bone tissues with a functional bone marrow (BM) compartment in vivo by using a synthetic biomaterial with spatially differing cues. Specifically, we have developed a synthetic matrix recapitulating the dual-compartment structures by modular assembly of mineralized and nonmineralized macroporous structures. Our results show that these matrices incorporated with BM cells or BM flush transplanted into recipient mice matured into functional bone displaying the cardinal features of both skeletal and hematopoietic compartments similar to native bone tissue. The hematopoietic function of bone tissues was demonstrated by its support for a higher percentage of mixed chimerism compared with i.v. injection and donor hematopoietic cell mobilization in the circulation of nonirradiated recipients. Furthermore, hematopoietic cells sorted from the engineered bone tissues reconstituted the hematopoietic system when transplanted into lethally irradiated secondary recipients. Such engineered bone tissues could potentially be used as ectopic BM surrogates for treatment of nonmalignant BM diseases and as a tool to study hematopoiesis, donor–host cell dynamics, tumor tropism, and hematopoietic cell transplantation.
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