Background. The demand for human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) for transplantation is increasing. Thus, effective alternative sources of HSPCs are required. Consequently, we sought to expand the accessibility of hematopoietic cells for clinical purposes by the investigation of hematopoietic reconstitution after transplantation of human HSPCs harvested from the bone marrow (BM) of heparinized deceased organ donors (HDODs).
Methods. For multipart research comparison, human BM HDODs-, healthy donor-derived, umbilical cord blood nuclear cells, or CD34+ cells were transplanted into sublethally irradiated NOD/SCID mice. Twenty-eight days after transplantation nuclear cells were isolated from the murine BM, spleen, and peripheral blood and were used to quantitatively detect human CD45 antigen by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction and flow cytometry. The clonogenic growth of human colony-forming units was also investigated.
Results. We found that umbilical cord blood-derived HSPCs showed the greatest transplantation potential in our in vivo model. Interestingly, the transplantation potential of HSPCs collected from the BM of HDODs was of the same quality as cells obtained from healthy BM donors.
Conclusion. Based on these results, we conclude that HDODs are a strongly underappreciated source of HSPCs that are ready to use for clinical purposes.