Epo receptor signaling in macrophages alters the splenic niche to promote erythroid differentiation

Yuanting Chen, Jie Xiang, Fenghua Qian, Bastihalli T. Diwakar, Baiye Ruan, Siyang Hao, K. Sandeep Prabhu, Robert F. Paulson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Anemic stress induces stress erythropoiesis, which rapidly generates new erythrocytes to restore tissue oxygenation. Stress erythropoiesis is best understood in mice where it is extramedullary and occurs primarily in the spleen. However, both human and mouse stress erythropoiesis use signals and progenitor cells that are distinct from steady-state erythropoiesis. Immature stress erythroid progenitors (SEPs) are derived from short-term hematopoietic stem cells. Although the SEPs are capable of self-renewal, they are erythroid restricted. Inflammation and anemic stress induce the rapid proliferation of SEPs, but they do not differentiate until serum erythropoietin (Epo) levels increase. Here we show that rather than directly regulating SEPs, Epo promotes this transition from proliferation to differentiation by acting on macrophages in the splenic niche. During the proliferative stage, macrophages produce canonical Wnt ligands that promote proliferation and inhibit differentiation. Epo/Stat5-dependent signaling induces the production of bioactive lipid mediators in macrophages. Increased production of prostaglandin J2 (PGJ2) activates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor g (PPARg)-dependent repression of Wnt expression, whereas increased production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) promotes the differentiation of SEPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-246
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 9 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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