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Cell Tissue Res. 2005 Mar;319(3):405-12. Epub 2005 Jan 27.

A rare fraction of human hematopoietic stem cells with large telomeres.

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Cryopreservation Unit, Hospital Clínic, Institut dInvestigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


The lack of specific markers for stem cells makes the physical identification of this compartment difficult. Hematopoietic stem cells differ in their repopulating and self-renewal potential. Our study shows that multiple classes of human hematopoietic CD34+ greatly differ in telomere length. Flow-cytometry-based fluorescent in situ hybridization and confocal microscopy of CD34+ cells has revealed remarkable telomere length heterogeneity, with a hybridization pattern consistent with different classes of human hematopoietic progenitor cells. These results also point to the existence of a significant clonal heterogeneity among primitive hematopoietic cells and provide the first evidence of a rare fraction of CD34+ cells with large telomeres in humans.

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