“There Will Be Blood” from Fibroblasts
February 1, 2014 / Volume 13, Issue 3
Carlos-Filipe Pereira, Ihor R Lemischka, Kateri Moore
The blood system is continuously replenished from a rare population of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that balance self-renewal and differentiation. It is believed that HSCs emerge during embryogenesis from a population of hemogenic endothelial cells at sites like the aorta-gonad-mesonephros (AGM) region and placenta. Transplantation of HSCs is a widely utilized cell therapy for a range of genetic and acquired disorders. Allogeneic transplantation depends on genetic matching to avoid graft vs. host disease as well as graft rejection, and even matched grafts are still associated with high risk. There are also limited quantities of available material especially in cord blood transplants and for various ethnic groups. Therefore, alternative sources of patient-specific transplantable HSCs are needed. Alternatives can potentially come from the in vitro expansion of existing blood stem cells or from de novo generation from other cell sources.