Dicer1 deletion in myeloid-committed progenitors causes neutrophil dysplasia and blocks macrophage/dendritic cell development in mice

Farshid Alemdehy, Nicole Boxtel, Hans de Looper, Iris Berge, Mathijs Sanders, Tom Cupedo, Ivo Touw, Stefan Erkeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have the potential to regulate cellular differentiation programs; however, miRNA deficiency in primary hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) results in HSC depletion in mice, leaving the question of whether miRNAs play a role in early-lineage decisions unanswered. To address this issue, we deleted Dicer1, which encodes an essential RNase III enzyme for miRNA biogenesis, in murine CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPA)-positive myeloid-committed progenitors in vivo. In contrast to the results in HSCs, we found that miRNA depletion affected neither the number of myeloid progenitors nor the percentage of C/EBPA-positive progenitor cells. Analysis of gene-expression profiles from wild-type and Dicer1-deficient granulocyte-macrophage progenitors (GMPs) revealed that 20 miRNA families were active in GMPs. Of the derepressed miRNA targets in Dicer1-null GMPs, 27% are normally exclusively expressed in HSCs or are specific for multipotent progenitors and erythropoiesis, indicating an altered gene-expression landscape. Dicer1-deficient GMPs were defective in myeloid development in vitro and exhibited an increased replating capacity, indicating the regained self-renewal potential of these cells. In mice, Dicer1 deletion blocked monocytic differentiation, depleted macrophages, and caused myeloid dysplasia with morphologic features of Pelger-Huet anomaly. These results provide evidence for a miRNA-controlled switch for a cellular program of self-renewal and expansion toward myeloid differentiation in GMPs. (Blood. 2012; 119(20):4723-4730)
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)4723-4730
Number of pages8
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Research programs

  • EMC MM-02-41-04

Cite this