Title: Aging Reprograms the Hematopoietic-Vascular Niche to Impede Regeneration and Promote Fibrosis
Abstract: Regenerative capacity is frequently impaired in aged organs. Stress to aged organs often causes scar formation (fibrosis) at the expense of regeneration. It remains to be defined how hematopoietic and vascular cells contribute to aging-induced regeneration to fibrotic transition. Here, we find that aging aberrantly reprograms the crosstalk between hematopoietic and vascular cells to impede the regenerative capacity and enhance fibrosis. In aged lung, liver, and kidney, induction of Neuropilin-1/hypoxia-inducible-factor 2α (HIF2α) suppresses anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) pathway, leading to formation of pro-fibrotic platelet-macrophage rosette. Activated platelets via supplying interleukin 1α synergize with endothelial-produced angiocrine chemokine to recruit fibrogenic TIMP1high macrophages. In mouse models, genetic targeting of endothelial Neuropilin-1-HIF2α, platelet interleukin 1α, or macrophage TIMP1 normalized the pro-fibrotic hematopoietic-vascular niche and restored the regenerative capacity of old organs. Targeting of aberrant endothelial node molecules might help propel “regeneration without scarring” in the repair of multiple organs.