Type I interferon (IFN-1) regulates gene expression and hematopoiesis both during development and in response to inflammatory stress. We previously showed that during development in mice, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and multipotent progenitors (MPPs) induce IFN-1 target genes shortly before birth. This coincides with the onset of a transition to adult hematopoiesis, and it drives the expression of genes associated with antigen presentation. However, it is not clear whether perinatal IFN-1 modulates hematopoietic output, as has been observed in contexts of inflammation. We have characterized hematopoiesis at several different stages of blood formation, from HSCs to mature blood cells, and found that loss of the IFN-1 receptor (IFNAR1) leads to depletion of several phenotypic HSC and MPP subpopulations in neonatal and juvenile mice. Committed lymphoid and myeloid progenitor populations expand simultaneously. These changes had a surprisingly little effect on the production of more differentiated blood cells. Cellular indexing of transcriptomes and epitopes by sequencing resolved the discrepancy between the extensive changes in progenitor numbers and modest changes in hematopoiesis, revealing stability in most MPP populations in Ifnar1-deficient neonates when the populations were identified based on gene expression rather than surface marker phenotype. Thus, basal IFN-1 signaling has only modest effects on hematopoiesis. Discordance between transcriptionally and phenotypically defined MPP populations may affect interpretations of how IFN-1 shapes hematopoiesis in other contexts, such as aging or inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2609-2621
Number of pages13
JournalBlood Advances
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 13 2023


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