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Stem Cells International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 985285, 12 pages
Research Article

Increased Haematopoietic Supportive Function of USSC from Umbilical Cord Blood Compared to CB MSC and Possible Role of DLK-1

Institute for Transplantation Diagnostics and Cell Therapeutics, Heinrich Heine University Medical Center, 40225 Duesseldorf, Germany

Received 11 October 2012; Revised 25 January 2013; Accepted 7 March 2013

Academic Editor: David Allan

Copyright © 2013 Simone Maria Kluth et al. 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.


Multipotent stromal cells can be isolated from a variety of different tissues in the body. In contrast to stromal cells from the adult bone marrow (BM) or adipose tissue, cord blood (CB) multipotent stromal cells (MSC) are biologically younger. Since first being described by our group, delta like 1 homologue (DLK-1) was determined as a discriminating factor between the distinct cord blood-derived subpopulations: the unrestricted somatic stromal cells (USSC), which lack adipogenic differentiation capacity, and the BM MSC-like CB MSC. In this study, experiments assessing the haematopoiesis-supporting capacity and molecular biological analyses were conducted and clearly confirmed different properties. Compared to CB MSC, USSC lead to a higher expansion of haematopoietic cells and in addition express significantly higher levels of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 1 (IGFBP1), but lower levels of IGF2. The data presented here also indicate that DLK-1 might not be the sole factor responsible for the inhibition of adipogenic differentiation potential in USSC but nevertheless indicates a biological diversity among cord blood-derived stromal cells.