, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 185-192

Age- and gender-related alterations of the number and clonogenic capacity of circulating CD34+ progenitor cells

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the peripheral representation and the clonogenic capacity of CD34+ progenitor cells from 130 healthy subjects (80 females and 50 males) ranging in age from 16 to 100 years. We demonstrated that the absolute number of circulating CD34+ cells progressively and significantly decreased with advancing age, with a 2–fold reduction in subjects aged more than 80 years. The number of granulocyte-macrophagic (CFU-GM), erytroid (BFU-E), and mixed (CFU-GEMM) colonies which developed from the number of CD34+ purified cells per ml, progressively and significantly decreased with advancing age. The reduction of both CD34+ cell number and clonogenic capacity during aging was statistically significant in males but not in females. When evaluated on a per cell bases, a significant age-related decrease in the number of CFU-GM colonies was observed in female but not in male subjects. Our study demonstrates the influence of gender on age-related alterations of the number and clonogenic capacity of CD34+ cells in the peripheral blood. This evidence deserves particular consideration for the future planning of stem cell therapy in age-associated debilitating diseases.