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  • Research article
  • Open Access

Mesenchymal stem cells promote a primitive phenotype CD34+c-kit+ in human cord blood-derived hematopoietic stem cells during ex vivo expansion

Cellular & Molecular Biology LettersAn International Journal201218:36

  • Received: 20 April 2012
  • Accepted: 22 October 2012
  • Published:


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of bone marrow-mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSC) and exogenously added cytokines on the proliferation, primitive cell subpopulation maintenance (including the c-kit+ marker) and clonogenic capacity of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). BM-MSC were collected from volunteer donors, isolated and characterized. Umbilical cord blood (UCB) samples were collected from healthy full-term deliveries. UCB-CD34+ cells were cultured in the presence or absence of BM-MSC and/or cytokines for 3 and 7 days. CD34+ cell proliferation was evaluated using the CSFE method and cell phenotype was determined by CD34, c-kit, CD33, CD38, HLA-DR, cyCD22 and cyCD3 detection. Cell clonogenic ability was also assessed. Exogenously added SCF, TPO and FLT3L increasedCD34+ cell proliferation in the presence or absence of BM-MSC, but with concomitant cell differentiation. Without any added cytokines, BM-MSC are able to increase the percentage of primitive progenitors as evaluated by c-kit expression and CFU-GEMM increase. Interestingly, this latter effect was dependent on both cell-cell interactions and secreted factors. A 7-day co-culture period will be optimal for obtaining an increased primitive HSC level. Including c-kit as a marker for primitive phenotype evaluation has shown the relevance of BM-MSC and their secreted factors on UCB-HSC stemness function. This effect could be dissociated from that of the addition of exogenous cytokines, which induced cellular differentiation instead.

Key words

  • Hematopoietic stem cell
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Bone marrow stroma
  • CD34+c-kit+ subpopulation
  • Cytokines
  • Progenitor cell
  • Umbilical cord blood