Human cord blood is a critical source of cells used to treat blood disorders. However, this source contains low numbers of cells that make successful transplants more difficult. The bone marrow of adults contain blood-forming stem cells that are self-renewing, can grow well, and can become different types of mature blood cells. Osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) are involved in the production of hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). Studies have shown that osteoblasts release extracellular vesicles (EVs), small structures within cells that contain various molecules and factors for various cellular functions. The EVs from osteoblasts play a role in maintaining a source of HSPCs needed for hematopoiesis (blood cell formation).
The EVs released by osteoblasts have been found to contain short pieces of genetic material called miRNA. These miRNAs can regulate the process of HSPC transformation to mature cells types. Studies were conducted to see if osteoblast EVs can promote the increased production of HSPCs derived from human cord blood. Another goal of the studies was to see if these EV-produced HSPCs would still function as stems cells after transplanting into living mice.
To conduct the studies, human cord blood-derived HSPCs with growth factors were grown in the laboratory setting. The addition of EVs resulted in the doubling of the total number of cells when compared to controls. Mice with impaired immune systems received transplants of the HSPC cells that were produced by the addition of EVs. These HSPCs kept their stem cell features after being transplanted.
The study results give promise to the potential of using EVs from osteoblasts in clinical efforts for hematopoietic disorders. These can be used to generate human cord blood—derived stem cells that retain their regenerative properties. Taking advantage of the attributes of EVs can lead to the development of a number of therapies in the regenerative medicine arena.
Here at HemaCare, we are dedicated to providing researchers with fresh human cord blood for all their research needs. If you are looking to advance your research, please contact us at (877) 397-3087.
"Osteoblasts Secrete Mirna-Containing Extracellular Vesicles That Enhance Expansion Of Human Umbilical Cord Blood Cells". N.p., 2016. Print.