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Methods Mol Biol. 2009;506:13-21. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-409-4_2.

Isolation of human and mouse hematopoietic stem cells.

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Department of Immunology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) are rare with estimated frequencies of 1 in 10,000 bone marrow cells and 1 in every 100,000 blood cells. The most important characteristic of HSC is their capacity to provide complete restoration of all blood cell lineages after bone marrow ablation. Therefore they are considered as the ideal targets for various clinical applications including stem cell transplantation and gene therapy. In adult mice and men, the main stem cell source is the bone marrow. For clinical applications HSC derived from umbilical cord blood (UCB) and G-CSF mobilized peripheral blood (PB) have been demonstrated to have several advantages compared to bone marrow; therefore, they are slowly replacing BM as alternative source of stem cells. The mouse is the model organism of choice for immunological and hematological research; therefore, studies of murine HSC are an important research topic. Here we described the most often used protocols and methods to isolate human and mouse HSC to high purity.

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