Diet-induced obesity in mice diminishes hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in the bone marrow

Susan M. Van Den Berg, Tom T. PSeijkens, Pascal J. HKusters, Linda Beckers, Myrthe DenToom, Esther Smeets, Johannes Levels, Menno P.J. De Winther, Esther Lutgens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Obesity is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation, characterized by leukocytosis and inflammation in the adipose tissue. Continuous activation of the immune system is a stressor for hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) in the bone marrow (BM). Here we studied how diet-induced obesity (DIO) affects HSPC population dynamics in the BM. Eight groups of age-matched C57Bl/6 mice received a high-fat diet (45% kilocalories from fat) ranging from 1 d up to 18 wk. The obesogenic diet caused decreased proliferation of lineagēSca-1+ c-Kit+ (LSK) cells in the BM and a general suppression of progenitor cell populations including common lymphoid progenitors and common myeloid progenitors. Within the LSK population, DIO induced a shift in stem cells that are capable of self-renewal toward maturing multipotent progenitor cells. The higher differentiation potential resulted in increased lymphoid and myeloid ex vivo colony-forming capacity. In a competitive BM transplantation, BM from obese animals showed impaired multilineage reconstitution when transplanted into chow-fed mice. Our data demonstrate that obesity stimulates the differentiation and reduces proliferation of HSPCs in the BM, leading to a decreased HSPC population. This implies that the effects of obesity on HSPCs hampers proper functioning of the immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1779-1788
Number of pages10
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2016


  • CBMT
  • Flow cytometry
  • Immune system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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