Hind limb unloading, a model of spaceflight conditions, leads to decreased B lymphopoiesis similar to aging.
Within the bone marrow, the endosteal niche plays a crucial role in B-cell differentiation. Because spaceflight is associated with osteoporosis, we investigated whether changes in bone microstructure induced by a ground-based model of spaceflight, hind limb unloading (HU), could affect B lymphopoiesis. To this end, we analyzed both bone parameters and the frequency of early hematopoietic precursors and cells of the B lineage after 3, 6, 13, and 21 d of HU. We found that limb disuse leads to a decrease in both bone microstructure and the frequency of B-cell progenitors in the bone marrow. Although multipotent hematopoietic progenitors were not affected by HU, a decrease in B lymphopoiesis was observed as of the common lymphoid progenitor (CLP) stage with a major block at the progenitor B (pro-B) to precursor B (pre-B) cell transition (5- to 10-fold decrease). The modifications in B lymphopoiesis were similar to those observed in aged mice and, as with aging, decreased B-cell generation in HU mice was associated with reduced expression of B-cell transcription factors, early B-cell factor (EBF) and Pax5, and an alteration in STAT5-mediated IL-7 signaling. These findings demonstrate that mechanical unloading of hind limbs results in a decrease in early B-cell differentiation resembling age-related modifications in B lymphopoiesis.-Lescale, C., Schenten, V., Djeghloul, D., Bennabi, M., Gaignier, F., Vandamme, K., Strazielle, C., Kuzniak, I., Petite, H., Dosquet, C., Frippiat, J.-P., Goodhardt, M. Hind limb unloading, a model of spaceflight conditions, leads to decreased B lymphopoiesis similar to aging.