Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal in vitro has been reported to result in a diminished proliferative capacity or acquisition of a homing defect that might compromise marrow repopulation. Our group has demonstrated that human HSC expanded ex vivo in the presence of porcine microvascular endothelial cells (PMVEC) retain the capacity to competitively repopulate human bone fragments implanted in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. To further test the marrow repopulating capacity of expanded stem cells, our laboratory has established a myeloablative, fractionated total body irradiation conditioning protocol for autologous marrow transplantation in baboons. A control animal, which received no transplant, as well as two animals, which received a suboptimal number of marrow mononuclear cells, died 37, 43, and 59 days postirradiation, respectively. Immunomagnetically selected CD34+ marrow cells from two baboons were placed in PMVEC coculture with exogenous human cytokines. After 10 days of expansion, the grafts represented a 14-fold to 22-fold increase in cell number, a 4-fold to 5-fold expansion of CD34+ cells, a 3-fold to 4-fold increase of colony-forming unit-granulocyte-macrophage (CFU-GM), and a 12-fold to 17-fold increase of cobblestone area-forming cells (CAFC) over input. Both baboons became transfusion independent by day 23 post-transplant and achieved absolute neutrophil count (ANC) >500/μL by day 25 ± 1 and platelets >20,000/μL by day 29 ± 2. This hematopoietic recovery was delayed in comparison to two animals that received either a graft consisting of freshly isolated, unexpanded CD34+ cells or 175 x 106/kg unfractionated marrow mononuclear cells. Analysis of the proliferative status of cells in PMVEC expansion cultures demonstrated that by 10 days, 99.8% of CD34+ cells present in the cultures had undergone cycling, and that the population of cells expressing a CD34+ CD38- phenotype in the cultures was also the result of active cell division. These data indicate that isolated bone marrow CD34+ cells may undergo cell division during ex vivo expansion in the presence of endothelial cells to provide a graft capable of rescuing a myeloablated autologous host.
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - 1 Jul 1999|