Isolation and expansion of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells from cryopreserved human umbilical cord blood.
BACKGROUND AIMS: Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPC) hold promise as a cellular therapy for demyelinating diseases. The feasibility of using OPC-based therapies in humans depends upon a reliable, readily available source. We have previously described the isolation, expansion and characterization of oligodendrocyte-like cells from fresh human umbilical cord blood (UCB). We now describe the isolation and expansion of OPC from thawed, cryopreserved UCB. METHODS: We thawed cryopreserved UCB units employing a standard clinical protocol, then isolated and plated mononuclear cells under previously established culture conditions. All OPC cultures were trypsinized at 21 days, counted, then characterized by flow cytometry after fixation, permeablization and labeling with the following antibodies: anti-oligodendrocyte marker 4 (O4), anti-oligodendrocyte marker 1 (O1) and anti-myelin basic protein (MBP). OPC were also placed in co-culture with shiverer mouse neuronal cells then stained in situ for beta tubulin III (BT3) and MBP as a functional assay of myelination. RESULTS: The average OPC yield per cryopreserved UCB unit was 64% of that seen with fresh UCB. On flow cytometric analysis, 74% of thawed UCB units yielded cells with an O4-expression level of at least 20% of total events, compared with 95% of fresh UCB units. We observed myelination of shiverer neurons in our functional assay, which could be used as a potency assay for release of OPC cells in phase I human clinical trials. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that OPC can be derived reliably from thawed, cryopreserved UCB units, and support the feasibility of using these cells in human clinical trials.
Tracy, ET; Zhang, CY; Gentry, T; Shoulars, KW; Kurtzberg, J
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