Biology of umbilical cord blood progenitors in bone marrow niches

Mo A. Dao, Michael H. Creer, Jan Nolta, Catherine M. Verfaillie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations


Within the bone marrow (BM), hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) are localized in poorly oxygenated niches where they interact with the surrounding osteoblasts (OBs) through VLA4/VCAM-1 engagement, and are exposed to interleukin-6 (IL-6), stem cell factor (SCF), and chemokines such as CXCL12 (OB factors). Umbilical cord (UC) is more highly oxygenated that the BM microenvironment. When UC-HPCs are exposed to the 2% to 3% O2 concentration found in the bone endosteum, their survival is significantly decreased. However, engagement of VLA-4 integrins on UCB-derived CD34 + cells reduced cell death in 2% to 3% O2 conditions, which was associated with an increase in phospho-Ser473 AKT and an increase in phospho-Ser9 GSK3b. Consistent with the role of GSK3b in destabilizing beta-catenin, there was more cytoplasmic beta-catenin in UC-HPCs exposed to 2% to 3% O2 on fibronectin, compared with suspension culture. UC-HPCs cultured at 2% to 3% O2 with OB factors showed an increase in nuclear beta-catenin and persistence of a small pool of CD34+38- HPCs. CFU assays followed by surface phenotyping of the plated colonies showed improved maintenance of mixed lineage colonies with both erythroid and megakaryocytic precursors. These studies provide a biologic perspective for how UC-derived HPCs adapt to the bone endosteum, which is low in oxygen and densely populated by osteoblasts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-81
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Biology of umbilical cord blood progenitors in bone marrow niches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this