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Blood. 2006 Feb 15;107(4):1265-75. Epub 2005 Oct 27.

Designer blood: creating hematopoietic lineages from embryonic stem cells.

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  • 1Division of Hematology, 3615 Civic Center Blvd, Abramson Research Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Embryonic stem (ES) cells exhibit the remarkable capacity to become virtually any differentiated tissue upon appropriate manipulation in culture, a property that has been beneficial for studies of hematopoiesis. Until recently, the majority of this work used murine ES cells for basic research to elucidate fundamental properties of blood-cell development and establish methods to derive specific mature lineages. Now, the advent of human ES cells sets the stage for more applied pursuits to generate transplantable cells for treating blood disorders. Current efforts are directed toward adapting in vitro hematopoietic differentiation methods developed for murine ES cells to human lines, identifying the key interspecies differences in biologic properties of ES cells, and generating ES cell-derived hematopoietic stem cells that are competent to repopulate adult hosts. The ultimate medical goal is to create patient-specific and generic ES cell lines that can be expanded in vitro, genetically altered, and differentiated into cell types that can be used to treat hematopoietic diseases.

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