Background: We previously established a mesenchymal stem cell line (FMS/PA6-P) from the bone marrow adherent cells of fetal mice. The cell line expresses a higher level of neural cell adhesion molecule and shows greater hematopoiesis-supporting capacity in mice than other murine stromal cell lines.
Design and methods: Since there is 94% homology between human and murine neural cell adhesion molecule, we examined whether FMS/PA6-P cells support human hematopoiesis and whether neural cell adhesion molecules expressed on FMS/PA6-P cells contribute greatly to the human hematopoiesis-supporting ability of the cell line.
Results: When lineage-negative cord blood mononuclear cells were co-cultured on the FMS/PA6-P cells, a significantly greater hematopoietic stem cell-enriched population (CD34(+)CD38(-) cells) was obtained than in the culture without the FMS/PA6-P cells. Moreover, when lineage-negative cord blood mononuclear cells were cultured on FMS/PA6-P cells and transplanted into SCID mice, a significantly larger proportion of human CD45(+) cells and CD34(+)CD38(-) cells were detected in the bone marrow of SCID mice than in the bone marrow of SCID mice that had received lineage-negative cord blood mononuclear cells cultured without FMS/PA6-P cells. Furthermore, we found that direct cell-to-cell contact between the lineage-negative cord blood mononuclear cells and the FMS/PA6-P cells was essential for the maximum expansion of the mononuclear cells. The addition of anti-mouse neural cell adhesion molecule antibody to the culture significantly inhibited their contact and the proliferation of lineage-negative cord blood mononuclear cells.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that neural cell adhesion molecules expressed on FMS/PA6-P cells play a crucial role in the human hematopoiesis-supporting ability of the cell line.