Multiple unit pooled umbilical cord blood is a viable source of therapeutic regulatory T cells

Transplantation. 2013 Jan 15;95(1):85-93. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e31827722ed.


Background: Regulatory T cells (Treg) are potentially a useful therapeutic option for the treatment of immunopathological conditions including graft-versus-host disease. Umbilical cord blood (UCB) offers certain advantages over adult peripheral blood (APB) as a source of Treg for cellular therapy but yields far fewer Treg per unit. Pooling of Treg from multiple donors may overcome this challenge.

Methods: In this study, we assessed the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of multiple donor pooled UCB or APB-derived Treg.

Results: In vitro, pooled freshly isolated UCB-derived Treg were as suppressive as APB-derived Treg. However, in a mouse model of human skin allodestruction, pooled UCB-derived Treg were more potent at suppressing alloresponses and prolonging skin survival compared with pooled APB-derived Treg. Improved survival of UCB Treg in an in vivo cell survival assay and their lower expression of human leukocyte antigen-ABC suggested that lower immunogenicity may account for their superior efficacy in vivo.

Conclusion: Multiple-unit UCB is therefore a viable source of human Treg for cellular therapy, and pooling of Treg from multiple donors offers a useful strategy for achieving required therapeutic doses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Cell Survival
  • Fetal Blood / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / analysis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*


  • Leukocyte Common Antigens