Age- and gender-related alterations of the number and clonogenic capacity of circulating CD34+ progenitor cells

Biogerontology. 2005;6(3):185-92. doi: 10.1007/s10522-005-7954-5.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the peripheral representation and the clonogenic capacity of CD34(+) progenitor cells from 130 healthy subjects (80 females and 50 males) ranging in age from 16 to 100 years. We demonstrated that the absolute number of circulating CD34(+) cells progressively and significantly decreased with advancing age, with a 2-fold reduction in subjects aged more than 80 years. The number of granulocyte-macrophagic (CFU-GM), erytroid (BFU-E), and mixed (CFU-GEMM) colonies which developed from the number of CD34(+) purified cells per ml, progressively and significantly decreased with advancing age. The reduction of both CD34(+) cell number and clonogenic capacity during aging was statistically significant in males but not in females. When evaluated on a per cell bases, a significant age-related decrease in the number of CFU-GM colonies was observed in female but not in male subjects. Our study demonstrates the influence of gender on age-related alterations of the number and clonogenic capacity of CD34(+) cells in the peripheral blood. This evidence deserves particular consideration for the future planning of stem cell therapy in age-associated debilitating diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Antigens, CD34 / analysis*
  • Cell Count
  • Colony-Forming Units Assay
  • Female
  • Hematopoiesis / physiology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors


  • Antigens, CD34