Background and Objectives: Ex vivo peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) expansion has been proposed as a strategy to increase the number of haematopoietic progenitors available for cell transplantation. We have expanded CD34+ cells from PBPCs obtained from four patients with haematological malignancies and one patient with an Ewing's sarcoma. Materials and Methods: Cells were expanded in the Dideco 'Pluricell system'. After 12 days in culture, we evaluated cell phenotype, total nucleated cells, CD34+ fold increase, cell apoptosis and colony assay of expanded cells. Cell engraftment has been evaluated by transplanting two groups of irradiated non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient (NOD-SCID) mice with expanded and non-expanded cell populations. Results: Total nucleated cells and CD34+ cells increased 59.5 and 4.0 times, respectively. The expanded cells were mainly constituted of myeloid and megakaryocytic cells. A significant increase in the number of colony-forming unit-granulocyte macrophage (CFU-GM) was observed in the CFU assay. Ten mice transplanted with expanded cells showed a best overall survival (80%) compared to 10 mice transplanted with non-expanded cells (20%). Human CD45+ cells were detected by flow cytometry and polymerase chain reaction in bone marrow and spleen of transplanted animals. The relative low engraftment level obtained with the expanded cells suggests a loss of SCID repopulating cells maybe due to cell differentiation during expansion. Conclusions: We have demonstrated the feasibility of the ex vivo expansion of mobilized PBPCs from cancer patients, evidencing a clonal expansion of CFUs and the ability of the expanded cells to engraft the bone marrow and spleen of immunosuppressed mice. The differentiation of the CD34+ stem cell compartment could be further minimized by ameliorating the expansion conditions.
- Ex vivo expansion bioreactors
- Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation
- Peripheral blood
ASJC Scopus subject areas