Coculture and transplant of purified CD34+Lin− and CD34−Lin− cells reveals functional interaction between repopulating hematopoietic stem cells
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The human hematopoietic stem cell compartment is comprised of repopulating CD34(+) and CD34(-) cells. The interaction between these subsets with respect to their reconstitution capacity in vivo remains to be characterized. Here, lineage-depleted (Lin(-)) human CD34(+) and CD34(-) hematopoietic cells were isolated from human male and female umbilical cord blood (CB) and transplanted into immune-deficient NOD/SCID EMV(null) mice, thereby allowing the use of human and Y-chromosome-specific DNA sequences to discriminate human reconstitution contributed by CD34(+) vs CD34(-) repopulating stem cells. Although cultured human CB CD34(-)Lin(-) cells transplanted alone possessed only minimal repopulating capacity, with 15% of mice achieving low levels of engraftment, transplantation of cocultured male CD34(-)Lin(-) cells with female CD34(+)Lin(-) cells demonstrated human repopulation with a contribution from CD34(-)Lin(-)-derived progeny in 80% of the recipients. After coculture and transplantation, male CD34(-)Lin(-) cells gave rise to primitive CD34(+)CD38(-) cells isolated in vivo, which demonstrated clonogenic progenitor function into multiple lineages. Taken together, our study indicates that the presence of CD34(+)Lin(-) cells in coculture enhanced the low repopulating function of human CD34(-)Lin(-) cells in vivo. We propose that CD34(+)Lin and CD34(-)Lin cells represent phenotypically distinct, but related cell types that exhibit unique and previously unappreciated functional interaction.
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