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Exp Hematol. 1999 Oct;27(10):1569-75.

Cotransplantation of stroma results in enhancement of engraftment and early expression of donor hematopoietic stem cells in utero.

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Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Department of Medicine, University of Nevada Reno, 89520, USA.


Although promising, clinical and experimental efforts at in utero hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation currently are limited by minimal donor cell engraftment and lack of early donor cell expression after transplantation. We reasoned that cotransplantation of stromal elements (ST) might condition the fetal microenvironment for the engraftment of donor HSC and facilitate precocious bone marrow (BM) hematopoiesis. In this study we cotransplanted sheep ST, derived from adult or fetal BM, with either adult or fetal HSC, into preimmune fetal sheep. We analyzed donor cell chimerism in BM and peripheral blood and compared levels of chimerism achieved with recipients of HSC alone. In all experimental groups, stromal cotransplantation markedly increased the level of peripheral blood donor cell expression at 60 days after transplantation relative to controls. Adult BM-derived stroma cotransplanted with adult HSC provided the highest levels of circulating donor cells, whereas fetal-derived stroma was less effective. In addition, ST cotransplantation resulted in increased donor cell engraftment in the BM and led to significantly increased levels of donor hematopoiesis for over 30 months after transplant. Cotransplantation of stroma may represent a valuable clinical strategy for optimal application of in utero HSC transplantation.

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