Stromal cell–derived factor-1 (SDF-1) provides a potent chemotactic stimulus for CD34+ hematopoietic cells. We cultured mobilized peripheral blood (PB) and umbilical cord blood (CB) for up to 5 weeks and examined the migratory activity of cobblestone area–forming cells (CAFCs) and long-term culture–initiating cells (LTC-ICs) in a transwell assay. In this system, SDF-1 or MS-5 marrow stromal cells placed in the lower chamber induced transmembrane and transendothelial migration by 2- and 5-week-old CAFCs and LTC-ICs in 3 hours. Transmigration was blocked by preincubation of input CD34+ cells with antibody to CXCR4. Transendothelial migration of CB CAFCs and LTC-ICs was higher than that of PB. We expanded CD34+ cells from CB in serum-free medium with thrombopoietin, flk-2 ligand, and c-kit ligand, with or without IL-3 and found that CAFCs cultured in the absence of IL-3 had a chemotactic response equivalent to noncultured cells, even after 5 weeks. However, addition of IL-3 to the culture reduced this response by 20–50%. These data indicate that SDF-1 induces chemotaxis of primitive hematopoietic cells signaling through CXCR4 and that the chemoattraction could be downmodulated by culture ex vivo.
Deog-Yeon Jo, Shahin Rafii, Tsuneyoshi Hamada, Malcolm A.S. Moore