Primitive hematopoietic progenitor cells such as severe combined immunodeficiency- repopulating cells and long-term culture-initiating cells are enriched in CD34+ CD38- cells derived from various stem cell sources. In this study, to elucidate the features of such primitive cells at the molecular level, we tried to isolate genes that were preferentially expressed in umbilical cord blood (CB -derived CD34+CD38- cells by subtractive hybridization. The gene for VPAC1 receptor, a receptor for the neuropeptide vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), was thereby isolated and it was shown that this gene was expressed in both CD34+CD38- and CD34+CD38+ CB cells and that the expression levels were higher in CD34+CD38 CB cells. Next, we assessed the effects of VIP on the proliferation of CD34+ CB cells using in vitro culture systems. In serum-free single-cell suspension culture, VIP enhanced clonal growth of CD34+ CB cells in synergy with FLT3 ligand (FL), stem cell factor (SCF), and thrombopoietin (TPO). In serum-free clonogenic assays, VIP promoted myeloid (colony-forming unit-granulocyte/macrophage (CFU-GM) and mixed (CFU-Mix) colony formations. Furthermore, in Dexter-type long-term cultures, VIP increased colony-forming cells at week 5 of culture. These results suggest that VIP functions as a growth-promoting factor of CB-derived hematopoetic progenitor cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research