Objective: The goal of this study was to evaluate effects on human stem cells in vitro and in vivo of an extract from the edible cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) enriched for a novel ligand for human CD62L (L-selectin).
Experimental approach: Ligands for CD62L provide a mechanism for stem cell mobilization in conjunction with down-regulation of the CXCR4 chemokine receptor for stromal derived factor 1. Affinity immunoprecipitation was used to identify a novel ligand for CD62L from a water extract from AFA. The effects of AFA water extract on CD62L binding and CXCR4 expression was tested in vitro using human bone marrow CD34+ cells and the two progenitor cell lines, KG1a and K562. A double-blind randomized crossover study involving 12 healthy subjects evaluated the effects of consumption on stem cell mobilization in vivo.
Results: An AFA extract rich in the CD62L ligand reduced the fucoidan-mediated externalization of the CXCR4 chemokine receptor on bone marrow CD34+ cells by 30% and the CD62L+ CD34+ cell line KG1A by 50% but did not alter the CXCR4 expression levels on the CD34(-) cell line K562. A transient, 18% increase in numbers of circulating CD34+ stem cells maximized 1 hour after consumption (P<.0003). When 3 noncompliant volunteers were removed from analysis, the increase in CD34+ cells was 25% (P<.0001).
Conclusion: AFA water extract contains a novel ligand for CD62L. It modulates CXCR4 expression on CD34+ bone marrow cells in vitro and triggers the mobilization of CD34+ CD133+ and CD34+ CD133(-) cells in vivo.