Cell transplantation

Copper modulates the differentiation of mouse hematopoietic progenitor cells in culture.

PMID 19520051


Copper chelation has been shown to favor the expansion of human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells in vitro. To further understand the effects of copper modulation on defined subsets of stem cells versus progenitor cells, we extended the studies in a mouse system. We isolated mouse hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) or hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) and cultured them with or without the copper chelator tetraethylenepentamine (TEPA) or CuCl(2). Cytokine-stimulated HPC cultures treated with TEPA for 7 days generated about two to three times more total and erythroid colony-forming cells (CFCs) compared to control cultures. In contrast, CuCl(2) treatment decreased the CFC numbers. Similar results were seen with HSC after 14, but not 7, days of culture. Transplant studies showed that HPCs cultured for 7 days in TEPA had about twofold higher short-term erythroid repopulation potential compared to control cultures, while CuCl(2) decreased the erythroid potential of cultured HPCs compared to control cultures. HSCs cultured with TEPA for 7 days did not exhibit significantly higher repopulation potential in either leukocyte or erythrocyte lineages compared to control cultures in short-term or long-term assays. Based on JC-1 staining, the mitochondrial membrane potential of HPCs cultured with TEPA was lower relative to control cultures. Our data suggest that decreasing the cellular copper content with TEPA results in preferential expansion or maintenance of HPC that are biased for erythroid differentiation in vivo, but does not enhance the maintenance of HSC activity in culture.

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Tetraethylenepentamine, technical grade