Flow cytometric and functional characterization of AC133+ cells from human umbilical cord blood

Mirella Pasino, Tiziana Lanza, Fernando Marotta, Lucia Scarso, Pierangela De Biasio, Stefano Amato, Anna Corcione, Vito Pistola, Pier Giorgio Mori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AC133+ cells may represent an alternative source of transplantable haemopoietic progenitor cells to CD34+ cells. Here, we have addressed the characterization of umbilical cord blood (UCB) AC133+ cells and compared their immunophenotypic and functional features with those of UCB CD34+ cells. UCB AC133+ and CD34+ cell fractions were purified by magnetic cell sorting, analysed by flow cytometry, tested for their content in blast cell colony-forming units (CFU-Bl), erythroid and granulocyte-macrophage colony- forming units before and after expansion in the presence of various haemopoietic growth factor combinations. Median AC133+ cell yield was 62.3%, and median AC133+ population purity was 97.9%. AC133+ cells were found to contain significantly more CFU-Bl than CD34+ cells; furthermore, the replating efficiency, i.e. the number of CFU-BI capable of generating secondary colonies, was higher in the former than in the latter cells. Both AC133+ and CD34+ cells displayed an increased ability to give rise to committed progenitors after 7-day expansion in liquid cultures. These data suggest that the AC133+ cell subset is a heterogeneous pool of immature and more differentiated cells that can be maintained and expanded in well-defined culture conditions. In comparison with CD34+ cells UCB AC133+ cells appear to contain a higher number of early haemopoietic progenitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-800
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • AC133 cells
  • Cord blood
  • Flow Cytometry
  • In vitro expansion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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