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Differential gene expression in umbilical cord blood and maternal peripheral blood

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Abstract Objectives: 

Umbilical cord blood (UCB) has become a useful alternative source of hematopoietic stem cells for clinical and research applications. UCB represents neonatal blood and differs from adult blood in many aspects, displaying different cell composition and various features of cellular immaturity. To understand molecular basis of phenotypic differences between neonatal and adult blood, we studied variations in transcriptome of UCB and maternal peripheral blood (PB). Methods: 

Using Illumina microarrays, we determined gene expression profiles of UCB and PB samples obtained from 30 mothers giving birth to living baby. Results: 

Out of 20589 tested genes, 424 genes were down-regulated and 417 genes were up-regulated in UCB compared with PB. Reduced expression of many immunity-related pathways (e.g. TLR pathway, Jak-STAT pathway, cytokine−cytokine receptor interaction) in neonatal blood cells may contribute to the poor response to antigens, increasing susceptibility to infections at the time of disappearance of protective maternal antibodies. On the other hand, overexpression of erythropoiesis-related genes (glycophorins, fetal hemoglobins, enzymes catalysing heme synthesis and erythrocyte differentiation) in UCB probably enforces red cell production in newborns. Conclusions: 

Our study demonstrates that neonatal and maternal bloods show specific gene expression profiles, likely reflecting differences in phenotypes of immunologically immature and fully evolved hematopoietic cells.
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Keywords: gene expression; hematopoiesis; immune system; peripheral blood; umbilical cord blood

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, Prague 2, Czech Republic 2: Institute of Experimental Medicine, Prague 4, Czech Republic 3: Faculty Hospital Motol, Prague 5, Czech Republic

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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