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Open Access An Ectopic Stromal Implant Model for Hematopoietic Reconstitution and In Vivo Evaluation of Bone Marrow Niches

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In adults, hematopoiesis takes places in the bone marrow, where specialized niches containing mesenchymal nonhematopoietic cells (stroma) harbor the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC). These niches are responsible and essential for the maintenance of HSCs. Attempts to expand HSCs fail to keep the general properties of stem cells, which depend on several niche components difficult to reproduce in in vitro culture systems. Here, we describe a methodology for in vivo study of hematopoietic stroma. We use stroma-loaded macroporous microcarriers implanted in the subcutaneous tissue of experimental animals and show that the ectopic stroma implant (ESI) is able to support hematopoiesis. Moreover, lethally irradiated mice can be rescued by ESI preloaded with HSCs, showing that they function as an ectopic bone marrow. ESI is also shown as a good system to study the role of different niche components. As an example, we used stromas lacking connexin 43 (Cx43) and confirm the importance of this molecule in the maintenance of the HSC niche in vivo. We believe ESI can work as an ectopic bone marrow allowing in vivo testing of different niches components and opening new avenues for the treatment of a variety of hematologic conditions particularly when stromal cell defects are the main cause of disease.
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Keywords: Bone marrow; Cx43; Hematopoiesis; Stroma

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-12-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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