Co-culture of umbilical cord blood CD34+ cells with human mesenchymal stem cells.
Insufficient numbers of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) sometimes limit allogenic transplantation of umbilical cord blood (UCB). Ex vivo expansion may overcome this limitation. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), as non-hematopoietic, well-characterized skeletal and connective-tissue progenitor cells within the bone marrow stroma, have been investigated as support cells for the culture of HSCs/HPCs. MSCs are attractive for the rich environmental signals that they provide and for immunological compatibility in transplantation. Thus far, HSC/MSC co-cultures have mainly been performed in 2-dimensional (2D) configuration. We postulate that a 3-dimensional (3D) culture environment that resembles the natural in vivo hematopoietic compartment might be more conducive for regulating HSC expansion. In this study, we compared the co-culture of HSCs and MSCs in 2D and 3D configurations. The results demonstrated the benefit of MSC inclusion in HSC expansion ex vivo. Direct contact between MSCs and HSCs in 3D cultures led to statistically significantly higher expansion of cord blood CD34+ cells than in 2D cultures (891- versus 545-fold increase in total cells, 96- versus 48-fold increase of CD34+ cells, and 230- versus 150-fold increase in colony-forming cell assay [CFC]). Engraftment assays in non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency mice also indicated a high success rate of hematopoiesis reconstruction with these expanded cells.
Zhang, Y; Chai, C; Jiang, X-S; Teoh, S-H; Leong, KW
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