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Leukemia. 2002 Sep;16(9):1655-63.

Persisting multilineage transgene expression in the clonal progeny of a hematopoietic stem cell.

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  • 1Experimental Cell Therapy, Department of Hematology and Oncology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.


Many applications of hematopoietic gene therapy require selection for clones with active transgene expression. However, it was unclear whether the clonal progeny of a retrovirally transduced hematopoietic stem cell would be capable of maintaining transgene expression through serial repopulation and multilineage differentiation. Such investigations require simultaneous analyses of clonality, multilineage activity and transgene copy numbers. Using a mouse model, the present study demonstrates that a single hematopoietic stem cell expressing a marker gene from one or two insertions of a simple retroviral vector actively maintains multilineage transgene expression in the vast majority (80-99%) of bone marrow and peripheral blood cells. Gene expression persisted through serial transplantations for at least 97 weeks post gene transfer and was observed in the lymphoid (B, T and NK cells), myeloid (CD11b(+), Gr-1(+)), erythroid (Ter119(+), mature red blood cells) and megakaryocytic (as indicated by platelets) progeny. Therefore, a single immunoselection for hematopoietic stem cells expressing the transgene in vivo was sufficient to establish a completely chimeric hematopoiesis. These observations imply that the retroviral vectors used in this study contain cis-elements that mediate expression through massive clonal expansion and multilineage differentiation, provided the insertion occurred in genetic loci permissive for expression in hematopoietic stem cells.

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