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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Jan 16;378(3):467-72. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.11.056. Epub 2008 Nov 24.

Reconstitution activity of hypoxic cultured human cord blood CD34-positive cells in NOG mice.

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Department of Cell Differentiation, The Sakaguchi Laboratory of Developmental Biology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan.


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside in hypoxic areas of the bone marrow. However, the role of hypoxia in the maintenance of HSCs has not been fully characterized. We performed xenotransplantation of human cord blood cells cultured in hypoxic or normoxic conditions into adult NOD/SCID/IL-2Rgamma(null) (NOG) mice. Hypoxic culture (1% O(2)) for 6 days efficiently supported the maintenance of HSCs, although cell proliferation was suppressed compared to the normoxic culture. In contrast, hypoxia did not affect in vitro colony-forming ability. Upregulation of a cell cycle inhibitor, p21, was observed in hypoxic culture. Immunohistochemical analysis of recipient bone marrow revealed that engrafted CD34(+)CD38(-) cord blood HSCs were hypoxic. Taken together, these results demonstrate the significance of hypoxia in the maintenance of quiescent human cord blood HSCs.

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