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Progress towards improving homing and engraftment of hematopoietic stem cells for clinical transplantation

Huang, Xinxin; Broxmeyer, Hal E.

Current Opinion in Hematology: July 2019 - Volume 26 - Issue 4 - p 266–272
doi: 10.1097/MOH.0000000000000510
HEMATOPOIESIS: Edited by Hal E. Broxmeyer and Maegan L. Capitano

Purpose of review Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a life-saving treatment for a variety of hematological and nonhematological disorders. Successful clinical outcomes after transplantation rely on adequate hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) numbers, and the homing and subsequent short-term and long-term engraftment of these cells in the bone marrow. Enhancing the homing capability of HSCs has the potential for high impact on improving HCT and patient survival.

Recent findings There are a number of ways to enhance HSC engraftment. Neutralizing negative epigenetic regulation by histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) increases surface CXCR4 expression and promotes human HSC homing and engraftment in immune-deficient NSG (NOD.Cg-Prkdcscid IL2rgtm1Wjl/Sz) mice. Short-term treatment of cells with glucocorticoids, pharmacological stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α, increasing membrane lipid raft aggregation, and inhibition of dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) facilitates HSC homing and engraftment. Added to these procedures, modulating the mitochondria permeability transition pore (MPTP) to mitigate ambient air-induced extra physiological oxygen stress/shock (EPHOSS) by hypoxic harvest and processing, or using cyclosporine A during air collection increases functional HSC numbers and improves HSC engraftment.

Summary A better understanding of the regulation of human HSC homing mediated by various signaling pathways will facilitate development of more efficient means to enhance HCT efficacy.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Correspondence to Xinxin Huang, PhD, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, 950 West Walnut Street, R2-302, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5181, USA. Tel: +1 317 278 9941; fax: +1 317 274 7592; e-mail:

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