Human CD34− Hematopoietic Stem Cells: Basic Features and Clinical Relevance
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CD34 has been widely used as a stem and progenitor cell marker, and clinical CD34+ stem cell transplantation (CD34+ SCT) has been performed for tumor purging and for prevention of graft-versus-host disease. Recently, CD34-negative hemato-poietic stem cells (CD34− HSCs) were identified in mice and humans. Xenogeneic chimera engraftment assays with immun-odeficient mice or preimmune fetal sheep resulted in identification of human CD34− HSCs in cord blood, bone marrow, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-mobilized peripheral blood, although no significant clonogenic activity was detected in vitro. These characteristics of CD34− HSCs make the assessment of clinical samples difficult. The generation of CD34+ HSCs from CD34− cells in vitro may be a surrogate assay for detecting CD34− HSC activity. This approach was used in recipients of CD34+ SCT and revealed the absence of a CD34− precursor population.The identification of a positive marker in CD34− HSCs and the development of a simpler and more efficient in vivo assay for CD34− HSCs may allow the diagnostic evaluation of human CD34− HSCs in various clinical procedures and diseases.
Key wordsCD34 Hematopoietic stem cell Xenogeneic transplantation assay
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