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Blood. 1999 Dec 15;94(12):4053-9.

Ex vivo generation of CD34(+) cells from CD34(-) hematopoietic cells.

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  • 1Research Center for Cell Transplantation, Department of Pediatrics, and the Department of Hematology, Tokai University, School of Medicine, Kanagawa, Japan.


The human Lin(-)CD34(-) cell population contains a newly defined class of hematopoietic stem cells that reconstitute hematopoiesis in xenogeneic transplantation systems. We therefore developed a culture condition in which these cells were maintained and then acquired CD34 expression and the ability to produce colony-forming cells (CFC) and SCID-repopulating cells (SRCs). A murine bone marrow stromal cell line, HESS-5, supports the survival and proliferation of Lin(-)CD34(-) cells in the presence of fetal calf serum and human cytokines thrombopoietin, Flk-2/Flt-3 ligand, stem cell factor, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, interleukin-3, and interleukin-6. Although Lin(-)CD34(-) cells do not initially form any hematopoietic colonies in methylcellulose, they do acquire the colony-forming ability during 7 days of culture, which coincides with their conversion to a CD34(+) phenotype. From 2.2% to 12.1% of the cells became positive for CD34 after culture. The long-term multilineage repopulating ability of these cultured cells was also confirmed by transplantation into irradiated NOD/SCID mice. These results represent the first in vitro demonstration of the precursor of CD34(+) cells in the human CD34(-) cell population. Furthermore, the in vitro system we reported here is expected to open the way to the precise characterization and ex vivo manipulation of Lin(-)CD34(-) hematopoietic stem cells.

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