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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2012 Aug;1266:179-88. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06629.x.

Prospects and challenges of induced pluripotent stem cells as a source of hematopoietic stem cells.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Regenerative Medicine Program, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.


Many life-threatening hematological diseases are now treated by bone marrow transplantations, i.e., infusion of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). HSC transplantations are a valid option for the treatment of a variety of metabolic disorders, and even for solid tumors and some refractory severe autoimmune diseases. Unfortunately, the frequency and outcome of HSC transplantations are limited by a shortage of suitable donors. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)--somatic cells that have acquired pluripotent stem cell characteristics by the ectopic expression of pluripotency-inducing factors--have been proposed as an alternative source of HSCs. Possible applications include cells of autologous, of autologous and genetically modified, or of allogeneic origin. Here, we provide a perspective on the distinct opportunities of iPSCs and discuss the challenges that lie ahead.

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