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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Preferential ex vivo expansion of megakaryocytes from human cord blood CD34+-enriched cells in the presence of thrombopoietin and limiting amounts of stem cell factor and Flt-3 ligand.

The high proliferative potential of cord blood (CB) stem cells and the identification of the key factor of megakaryopoiesis, thrombopoietin (TPO), permit the ex vivo expansion of megakaryocytes (MKs) for possible use in early post-transplant support of patients and the production of functional platelets for transfusion. However, culture conditions for the generation of adequate MKs for this purpose are not yet optimized. Therefore, we sought to define the mixture of early-acting cytokines and TPO that would promote the expansion of MK progenitors over other lineages and result in overall better MK expansion and platelet yields. CB CD34(+)-enriched cells were cultured in serum-free medium for 17 days in presence of TPO alone or in various combinations with early-acting cytokines used at different concentrations and addition times. MK expansion and polyploidy and platelet production were monitored by flow cytometry analysis using specific surface markers (CD41 and CD42b) and propidium iodide labeling. Our results showed that the use of high concentrations of stem cell factor (SCF) and Flt-3 ligand (FL) in early CB TPO-supplemented cultures was more favorable to monocytic and granulocytic cell expansion. However, we observed that their presence in limiting amounts was required for the preferential expansion of MK progenitors. The addition of SCF, FL, TPO, and interleukin-6 (IL-6) at high concentrations in secondary cultures of these expanded MKs resulted in optimal MK proportion (approximately 25% of MKs) and expansion (>300 MK per seeded cell), highest proportions of polyploid MKs (22% of mature MKs > or = 8N), and best platelet yields. Our results indicate that TPO-induced MK progenitors are more sensitive to early-acting cytokines than non-MK cells. We propose that MKs generated in the optimized conditions, in combination with immature stem/progenitor cells, could prove useful for the short-term platelet recovery following CB transplantation.[1]


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