Human mesenchymal and murine stromal cells support human lympho-myeloid progenitor expansion but not maintenance of multipotent haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells

<p>A major goal in haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) research is to define conditions for the expansion of HSCs or multipotent progenitor cells (MPPs). Since human HSCs/MPPs cannot be isolated, NOD/SCID repopulating cell (SRC) assays emerged as the standard for the quantification of very primitive haematopoietic cell. However, in addition to HSCs/MPPs, lympho-myeloid primed progenitors (LMPPs) were recently found to contain SRC activities, challenging this assay as clear HSC/MPP readout. Because our revised model of human haematopoiesis predicts that HSCs/MPPs can be identified as CD133<sup>+</sup>CD34<sup>+</sup> cells containing erythroid potentials, we investigated the potential of human mesenchymal and conventional murine stromal cells to support expansion of HSCs/MPPs. Even though all stromal cells supported expansion of CD133<sup>+</sup>CD34<sup>+</sup> progenitors with long-term myeloid and long-term lymphoid potentials, erythroid potentials were exclusively found within erythro-myeloid CD133<sup>low</sup>CD34<sup>+</sup> cell fractions. Thus, our data demonstrate that against the prevailing assumption co-cultures on human mesenchymal and murine stromal cells neither promote expansion nor maintenance of HSCs and MPPs.</p>