Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 188–194 | Cite as

CAPE promotes the expansion of human umbilical cord blood-derived hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in vitro

  • YiMing Liu
  • BoWen Zhang
  • Jing Zhang
  • SiHan Wang
  • HaiLei Yao
  • LiJuan He
  • Lin Chen
  • Wen Yue
  • YanHua LiEmail author
  • XueTao PeiEmail author
Open Access
Research Paper Thematic Issue: Stem cells and regenerative medicine in China


Due to the low number of collectable stem cells from single umbilical cord blood (UCB) unit, their initial uses were limited to pediatric therapies. Clinical applications of UCB hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) would become feasible if there were a culture method that can effectively expand HSPCs while maintaining their self-renewal capacity. In recent years, numerous attempts have been made to expand human UCB HSPCs in vitro. In this study, we report that caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a small molecule from honeybee extract, can promote in vitro expansion of HSPCs. Treatment with CAPE increased the percentage of HSPCs in cultured mononuclear cells. Importantly, culture of CD34+ HSPCs with CAPE resulted in a significant increase in total colony-forming units and high proliferative potential colony-forming units. Burst-forming unit-erythroid was the mostly affected colony type, which increased more than 3.7-fold in 1 μg mL−1 CAPE treatment group when compared to the controls. CAPE appears to induce HSPC expansion by upregulating the expression of SCF and HIF1-α. Our data suggest that CAPE may become a potent medium supplement for in vitro HSPC expansion.


hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells caffeic acid phenethyl ester expansion 

Supplementary material

11427_2014_4611_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (203 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 207 KB.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2014

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • YiMing Liu
    • 1
  • BoWen Zhang
    • 1
  • Jing Zhang
    • 1
  • SiHan Wang
    • 1
  • HaiLei Yao
    • 1
  • LiJuan He
    • 1
  • Lin Chen
    • 1
  • Wen Yue
    • 1
  • YanHua Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • XueTao Pei
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine LabBeijing Institute of Transfusion MedicineBeijingChina

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