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Br J Haematol. 2000 Mar;108(3):629-40.

Effect of ex vivo cytokine treatment on human cord blood engraftment in NOD-scid mice.

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  • 1The Cancer Center and the Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.


Umbilical cord blood transplantation is considered an alternative to traditional bone marrow transplantation for patients who do not have matched sibling donors. In this study, we examined the effects of ex vivo treatment of human cord blood cells with cytokine mixtures and assessed the ability of treated cells to engraft in NOD-scid mice. We incubated the cord blood with a four-factor cytokine mixture of interleukin (IL)-3, IL-6, IL-11 and stem cell factor, or with a two-factor cytokine mixture of thrombopoietin and flt-3. Incubation of cord blood for 48 h with either cytokine mixture did not affect progenitor cell number or proliferative potential as measured by the high proliferative potential (HPP) assay. Cytokine-treated cord blood injected into irradiated NOD-scid mice resulted in multilineage human engraftment. Overall, incubation with cytokines resulted in variable levels of engraftment with different cord blood samples. Incubation of cord blood with the four-factor cytokine mixture resulted in increased survival of irradiated NOD-scid recipients. These results demonstrate that short-term ex vivo treatment of human progenitor cells gives variable results on in vivo multipotential capabilities.

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