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J Cell Biochem. 2011 Apr;112(4):1206-18. doi: 10.1002/jcb.23042.

Isolation and characterization of mesenchymal stem cells from human umbilical cord blood: reevaluation of critical factors for successful isolation and high ability to proliferate and differentiate to chondrocytes as compared to mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow and adipose tissue.

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Cell Therapy Research and Development Laboratory, New York Blood Center, New York, New York 10065, USA.


Human umbilical cord blood (CB) is a potential source for mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) capable of forming specific tissues, for example, bone, cartilage, or muscle. However, difficulty isolating MSC from CB (CB-MSC) has impeded their clinical application. Using more than 450 CB units donated to two public CB banks, we found that successful cell recovery fits a hyper-exponential function of time since birth with very high fidelity. Additionally, significant improvement in the isolation of CB-MSC was achieved by selecting cord blood units having a volume ≥90  ml and time ≤2  h after donor's birth. This resulted in 90% success in isolation of CB-MSC by density gradient purification and without a requirement for immunoaffinity methods as previously reported. Using MSC isolated from bone marrow (BM-MSC) and adipose tissue (AT-MSC) as reference controls, we observed that CB-MSC exhibited a higher proliferation rate and expanded to the order of the 1 × 10(9)  cells required for cell therapies. CB-MSC showed karyotype stability after prolonged expansion. Functionally, CB-MSC could be more readily induced to differentiate into chondrocytes than could BM-MSC and AT-MSC. CB-MSC showed immunosuppressive activity equal to that of BM-MSC and AT-MSC. Collectively, our data indicate that viable CB-MSC could be obtained consistently and that CB should be reconsidered as a practical source of MSC for cell therapy and regenerative medicine using the well established CB banking system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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