Ex vivo expanded hematopoietic stem cells overcome the MHC barrier in allogeneic transplantation

Junke Zheng, Masato Umikawa, Shichuan Zhang, Hoangdinh Huynh, Robert Silvany, Benjamin P C Chen, Lieping Chen, Cheng Cheng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The lack of understanding of the interplay between hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and the immune system has severely hampered the stem cell research and practice of transplantation. Major problems for allogeneic transplantation include low levels of donor engraftment and high risks of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Transplantation of purified allogeneic HSCs diminishes the risk of GVHD but results in decreased engraftment. Here we show that ex vivo expanded mouse HSCs efficiently overcame the major histocompatibility complex barrier and repopulated allogeneic-recipient mice. An 8-day expansion culture led to a 40-fold increase of the allograft ability of HSCs. Both increased numbers of HSCs and culture-induced elevation of expression of the immune inhibitor CD274 (B7-H1 or PD-L1) on the surface of HSCs contributed to the enhancement. Our study indicates the great potential of utilizing ex vivo expanded HSCs for allogeneic transplantation and suggests that the immune privilege of HSCs can be modulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalCell Stem Cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 5 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics


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