Hypoxia promotes erythroid differentiation through the development of progenitors and proerythroblasts

Aditi Bapat, Natascha Schippel, Xiaojian Shi, Paniz Jasbi, Haiwei Gu, Mrinalini Kala, Aparna Sertil, Shalini Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Oxygen is a critical noncellular component of the bone marrow microenvironment that plays an important role in the development of hematopoietic cell lineages. In this study, we investigated the impact of low oxygen (hypoxia) on ex vivo myeloerythroid differentiation of human cord blood-derived CD34+ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. We characterized the culture conditions to demonstrate that low oxygen inhibits cell proliferation and causes a metabolic shift in the stem and progenitor populations. We found that hypoxia promotes erythroid differentiation by supporting the development of progenitor populations. Hypoxia also increases the megakaryoerythroid potential of the common myeloid progenitors and the erythroid potential of megakaryoerythroid progenitors and significantly accelerates maturation of erythroid cells. Specifically, we determined that hypoxia promotes the loss of CD71 and the appearance of the erythroid markers CD235a and CD239. Further, evaluation of erythroid populations revealed a hypoxia-induced increase in proerythroblasts and in enucleation of CD235a+ cells. These results reveal the extensive role of hypoxia at multiple steps during erythroid development. Overall, our work establishes a valuable model for further investigations into the relationship between erythroid progenitors and/or erythroblast populations and their hypoxic microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-46.e35
JournalExperimental Hematology
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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