Background: Pim (proviral insertion in murine lymphoma) kinases are a small family of constitutively active, highly conservative serine/threonine oncogenic kinases and have 3 members: Pim1, Pim2, and Pim3. Pim kinases are also implicated in the regulation of B- and T- cell responses to cytokines and hematopoietic growth factors. The roles of Pim kinases in the regulation of primitive hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are largely unknown. Methods. In the current study, Pim1-/-2-/-3-/- triple knockout (TKO) mice were used to determine the role of Pim kinases in hematopoiesis. Peripheral blood hematological parameters were measured in Pim TKO mice and age-matched wild-type (WT) controls. Primary, secondary, and competitive transplantations were performed to assay the long-term repopulating HSCs in Pim TKO mice. In vivo BrdU incorporation assay and ex vivo Ki67 staining and caspase 3 labeling were performed to evaluate the proliferation and apoptosis of HSCs in Pim TKO mice. Results: Compared to age-matched WT controls, Pim TKO mice had lower peripheral blood platelet count and exhibited erythrocyte hypochromic microcytosis. The bone marrow cells from Pim TKO mice demonstrated decreased hematopoietic progenitor colony-forming ability. Importantly, Pim TKO bone marrow cells had significantly impaired capacity in rescuing lethally irradiated mice and reconstituting hematopoiesis in primary, secondary and competitive transplant models. In vivo BrdU incorporation in long-term HSCs was reduced in Pim TKO mice. Finally, cultured HSCs from Pim TKO mice showed reduced proliferation evaluated by Ki67 staining and higher rate of apoptosis via caspase 3 activation. Conclusions: Pim kinases are not only essential in the hematopoietic lineage cell development, but also important in HSC expansion, self-renewal, and long-term repopulation. © 2013 An et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
An, N., Kraft, A. S., & Kang, Y. (2013). Abnormal hematopoietic phenotypes in Pim kinase triple knockout mice. Journal of Hematology and Oncology, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-8722-6-12