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Mimicking the haematopoietic niche microenvironment provides a novel strategy for expansion of haematopoietic and megakaryocyte-progenitor cells from cord blood

Mimicking the haematopoietic niche microenvironment provides a novel strategy for expansion of haematopoietic and megakaryocyte-progenitor cells from cord blood (Enlarge)

Severe neutropenia and protracted thrombocytopenia remain serious clinical problems following cord blood transplantation (CBT) due to the paucity of stem and progenitor cells in the grafts. Administration of ex-vivo expanded megakaryocyte progenitor cells may facilitate platelet production. We propose a novel strategy to expand these rare cells ex-vivo, from a small portion of the cord blood (CB) unit, using fibronectin (FN), a major component of hematopoietic niches, combined with cytokines, including thrombopoietin and the hematopoietic stress-associated acetylcholinesterase readthrough peptide (ARP). Application of multiple gates and high definition flow cytometry enabled clear resolution of expanded hematopoietic stem/precursor cells (HSPC) and megakaryocyte progenitors (Mk-p) and their early subsets while eliminating positively stained non-relevant cells. FN increased viability, expansion of all CD34+ HSPC populations and Mk-p. The combination of FN + thrombopoietin + ARP maintained and expanded very early myeloid and thrombopoietic precursors, increased the proliferation of megakaryocyte, granulocyte-macrophage and multilineage colony-forming progenitors and supported Mk maturation as measured by ploidy and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa expression by quantiative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. This approach, which involves expanding HSPC and Mk precursors from a small portion of the CB unit, without sacrificing the coveted stem cells, may lead to improved cell therapy modalities to facilitate earlier myelopoiesis and platelet production post-CBT.

 

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