The AC133+CD38-, but not the rhodamine-low, phenotype tracks LTC-IC and SRC function in human cord blood ex vivo expansion cultures

Blood. 2010 Jan 14;115(2):257-60. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-07-228106. Epub 2009 Nov 6.


Phenotypic markers associated with human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) were developed and validated using uncultured cells. Because phenotype and function can be dissociated during culture, better markers to prospectively track and isolate HSCs in ex vivo cultures could be instrumental in advancing HSC-based therapies. Using an expansion system previously shown to increase hematopoietic progenitors and SCID-repopulating cells (SRCs), we demonstrated that the rhodamine-low phenotype was lost, whereas AC133 expression was retained throughout culture. Furthermore, the AC133(+)CD38(-) subpopulation was significantly enriched in long-term culture-initiating cells (LTC-IC) and SRCs after culture. Preculture and postculture analysis of total nucleated cell and LTC-IC number, and limiting dilution analysis in NOD/SCID mice, showed a 43-fold expansion of the AC133(+)CD38(-) subpopulation that corresponded to a 7.3-fold and 4.4-fold expansion of LTC-ICs and SRCs in this subpopulation, respectively. Thus, AC133(+)CD38(-) is an improved marker that tracks and enriches for LTC-IC and SRC in ex vivo cultures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AC133 Antigen
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1*
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis*
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fetal Blood / cytology
  • Fetal Blood / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Glycoproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Mice, SCID
  • Peptides
  • Transplantation, Heterologous


  • AC133 Antigen
  • Antigens, CD
  • Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • PROM1 protein, human
  • Peptides
  • Prom1 protein, mouse
  • CD38 protein, human
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1