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Gene Ther. 2005 Feb;12(4):358-63.

Efficient engraftment of in utero transplanted mice with retrovirally transduced hematopoietic stem cells.

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Hematopoietic Gene Therapy Program, CIEMAT/Marcelino Botín Foundation, Madrid 28040, Spain.


Using an experimental mouse model, we have investigated the kinetics of hematopoietic reconstitution of recipients transplanted during fetal development with fresh and transduced hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Total bone marrow (BM) and purified Lin(-)Sca-1(+) cells, either fresh or transduced ex vivo with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-encoding retroviral vectors, were in utero transplanted (IUT) into fetal mice. Data obtained 2 months after transplantation showed a similar proportion of engrafted animals, regardless of the fact that samples were purified or not on HSCs, and subjected or not to ex vivo transduction with retroviral vectors. The transplantation of grafts enriched in HSCs, either fresh or transduced, always improved the levels of donor chimerism of IUT mice in comparison with results obtained in mice transplanted with unpurified BM grafts (6.8 and 7.3% versus 1.15% median values, respectively). Significantly, engrafted recipients that were transplanted with the transduced graft always contained transduced EGFP(+) cells in peripheral blood (around 5% of donor cells were EGFP(+) at 2 months post-transplantation). This proportion was essentially maintained at longer times post-transplantation, as well as in secondary recipients transplanted with the BM of IUT mice. Our study describes for the first time a significant and stable engraftment of unconditioned mice subjected to IUT with HSCs transduced with retroviral vectors.

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