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Gene Ther. 2010 Mar;17(3):412-8. doi: 10.1038/gt.2009.138. Epub 2009 Oct 29.

SLAM-enriched hematopoietic stem cells maintain long-term repopulating capacity after lentiviral transduction using an abbreviated protocol.

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  • 1Children's Center for Fetal Research, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4318, USA.


Gene transfer to long-term repopulating hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) using integrating viral vectors is an important goal in gene therapy. The SLAM (signaling lymphocyte activation molecule)-family receptors have recently been used for the isolation of highly enriched murine HSCs. This HSC enrichment protocol is relatively simple, and results in an HSC population with comparable repopulating capacity to c-kit(+)lin(-)Sca-1(+) (KSL) HSCs. The capacity to withstand genetic manipulation and, most importantly, to maintain long-term repopulating capacity of SLAM-enriched HSC populations has not been reported. In this study, SLAM-enriched HSCs were assessed for transduction efficiency and in vivo long-term repopulating capacity after lentiviral transduction using an abbreviated transduction protocol and KSL-enriched HSCs as a reference population. SLAM- and KSL-enriched HSCs were efficiently transduced by lentiviral vector using a simple protocol that involves minimal in vitro manipulation and no pre-stimulation. SLAM-HSCs are at least equal to KSL-HSCs with respect to efficiency of transduction and maintenance of long-term repopulating capacity. Although there was a reduction in repopulating capacity related to enrichment and culture manipulations relative to freshly isolated bone marrow (BM) cells, no detrimental effects were identified on long-term competitive capacity related to transduction, as transduced cells maintained stable levels of chimerism in competition with non-transduced cells and freshly isolated BM cells. These results support the SLAM-HSC enrichment protocol as a simple and efficient method for HSC enrichment for gene transfer studies.

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