Stem Cell Harvesting from Umbilical Cord Blood: A New Perspective
Newborn blood contains a large number of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. In human ontogeny, hematopoiesis occurs first in the yolk sac, later in the fetal liver, and then in the bone marrow . The volume of bone marrow in newborns is, in fact, so large that it is nearly equal to the marrow space occupied by hematopoietic cells in adults. The spleen, lymph nodes, and even kidneys may contain too few developing hematopoietic stem cells. During fetal life and at birth, communication of hematopoietic sites through the blood is very active and immature precursors of blood cells and their progenitors are present in peripheral blood. Transplantation of fetal liver cells has been used with limited success because of the limited number of cells infused, the HLA disparity between donor and recipient, and the occurrence of graft vs host disease (GVHD) when the fetus was older than 21 weeks . Peripheral blood stem cells have been used for autologous transplantation in various malignancies, but the concentration of progenitor stem cells is so low that collection of an appropriate number requires multiple leukophereses, utilization of the rebound observed during recovery after chemotherapy, and stimulation by growth factors [30, 31]. The utilization of human cord blood for hematopoietic reconstitution was suggested by E. Boyse, who showed that lethally irradiated mice could be reconstituted with neonatal mouse blood. This led to a cooperative international study to evaluate human cord blood as an alternative source of hematopoietic stem cells for transplantation in humans.
KeywordsCord Blood Umbilical Cord Blood Graft Versus Host Disease Fanconi Anemia Cord Blood Transplant
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