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Baillieres Best Pract Res Clin Haematol. 1999 Mar-Jun;12(1-2):1-17.

Properties of peripheral blood and cord blood stem cells.

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CRC Haemopoietic Cell and Gene Therapeutics, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Withington, Manchester, UK.


Mobilized peripheral blood and cord blood are used for transplantation in adults and children. Currently methods which assess the engraftment potential of these cells rely on nucleated cell count, clonogenic colony assays (GM-CFC) and CD34+ cell enumeration. However, data have accumulated which indicate that the cells responsible for short-term and long-term engraftment are different and may be identified by a variety of techniques, including immunophenotyping, in vitro and in vivo assays. There is also evidence that primitive cells in peripheral blood progenitor cell grafts and cord blood are heterogeneous, as cells with similar functional behaviour express different phenotypes. Despite intensive research, the isolation and identification of a homogeneous population of human stem cells is still elusive. Nevertheless, it is possible to obtain CD34+ subpopulations enriched in primitive cells with many of the properties expected of stem cells. Using these cell fractions, the cytokines that induce proliferation, amplification, differentiation and self-renewal are being defined in order to develop improved protocols for expansion of specific populations. From these studies a number of interesting facts have emerged. Certain growth factors frequently used for progenitor cell expansion and gene transduction studies also induce differentiation and impair long-term engraftment. Further, the cytokines required for progenitor cell expansion are probably different to those which favour expansion of the primitive cells, with both the cell cycle status of CD34+ cells as well as the implication of telomere shortening probably needing to be considered where ex vivo manipulation is contemplated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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