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Stem cell expansion

topoietic system had been destroyed through radiation. These results suggest that HOXB4-mediated expansion of stem cells could accelerate the engraftment of HSCs from sources that contain limited numbers of stem cells, such as cord blood. This was a proof-of-principle study that used small numbers of monkeys. Given the encouraging results, additional experiments are now planned to further test whether HOXB4 can eventually be used to improve the expansion and engraftment of stem cells in patients whose hematopoietic system has failed.

Kiem and colleagues achieved HOXB4 overexpression through introducing an active copy of the gene into the cells. However, because HOXB4 protein is available in recombinant form (i.e. produced in cell culture, much like human insulin), it should be possible to treat HSCs directly with the protein, avoiding the potential problems associated with genetic manipulation of the cells. As the reviewers of the article commented, such "clean expansion" of HSCs holds great potential for application in human transplant recipients.


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Source:Public Library of Science


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