Bone marrow transplantation

Superselective intra-arterial umbilical cord blood administration to BM in experimental animals.

PMID 25198791


Umbilical cord blood (UCB) as a source of hematopoietic stem cells for transplantation is limited by the low number of cells and delayed engraftment. UCB cells are infused i.v. for transplantation, although only a proportion of the cells reach the BM. We investigated whether UCB could be administered safely using superselective intra-arterial (i.a.) injection. We injected human UCB (5 × 10(6)) into the aorta in rats, into the iliac artery in mice and into the femoral nutrient artery (FNA) in rabbits. We used angiography, immunohistochemistry, intravital microscopy and qPCR to assess safety end points and the distribution of injected cells. All animals showed normal behavior. No evidence of organ infarction was noted. UCB injected into the FNA of rabbits did not change the flow rates, measured by angiography. By qPCR, we found significantly higher fold-change values in the injected BM compared with i.v. injection (P=0.0087). Using intravital microscopy we visualized the mouse capillary bed during i.a. injection without cellular congestion. In summary, we show that i.a. infusion of UCB is safe and reaches an eightfold increase in engraftment in the BM compared with i.v. infusion. These studies lay the foundation for clinical trials.