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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2001 Jul;28(2):163-71.

Similar myeloid recovery despite superior overall engraftment in NOD/SCID mice after transplantation of human CD34(+) cells from umbilical cord blood as compared to adult sources.

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Department of Hematology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Umbilical cord blood (UCB), bone marrow (BM) and mobilized peripheral blood (mPB) are used as sources of hematopoietic stem cells for transplantation. The NOD/SCID mouse model was used to compare the lineage-specific repopulating potential of CD34(+) cells derived from these sources. Six to 8 weeks after transplantation, blood, BM, spleen, liver and thymus, were harvested, and analyzed by flow cytometry using CD34, CD45, myeloid, and lymphoid lineage-specific antibodies. Fifty percent engraftment of human cells in bone marrow of mice was estimated to be reached with 0.55 x 10(6) CD34(+) UCB cells or with 7.9 x 10(6) CD34(+) cells from adult sources, illustrating a 10-fold superiority of UCB CD34(+) cells to engraft NOD/SCID mice. Lineage-specific characterization of engrafted human cells showed that the high engraftment potential of CD34(+) cells from UCB was due to a preferential B cell development (2-81%). In contrast, comparable percentages of myeloid cells were found following transplantation of CD34(+) cells from UCB, BM and mPB (1-38%), and occurred at significant levels only at relatively high doses. Since the CD34 content of UCB transplants is usually at least one log lower than of transplant from adult sources, these results correspond to the clinical findings with UCB transplantation showing a relatively high overall engraftment, but delayed myeloid recovery.

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