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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 740892, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/740892
Review Article

Increasing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Yield to Develop Mice with Human Immune Systems

1Regenerative Medicine Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Room 361, Steven Spielberg Building, 8700 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
2Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Room 361, Steven Spielberg Building, 8700 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
3David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA

Received 25 September 2012; Revised 17 December 2012; Accepted 27 December 2012

Academic Editor: Rudi Beyaert

Copyright © 2013 Juan-Carlos Biancotti and Terrence Town. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are unique in their capacity to give rise to all mature cells of the immune system. For years, HSC transplantation has been used for treatment of genetic and neoplastic diseases of the hematopoietic and immune systems. The sourcing of HSCs from human umbilical cord blood has salient advantages over isolation from mobilized peripheral blood. However, poor sample yield has prompted development of methodologies to expand HSCs ex vivo. Cytokines, trophic factors, and small molecules have been variously used to promote survival and proliferation of HSCs in culture, whilst strategies to lower the concentration of inhibitors in the culture media have recently been applied to promote HSC expansion. In this paper, we outline strategies to expand HSCs in vitro, and to improve engraftment and reconstitution of human immune systems in immunocompromised mice. To the extent that these “humanized” mice are representative of the endogenous human immune system, they will be invaluable tools for both basic science and translational medicine.