Background: Platelet (PLT) transfusions are the most effective treatments for patients with thrombocytopenia. The growing demand for PLT transfusion products is compounded by a limited supply due to dependency on volunteer donors, a short shelf-life, risk of contaminating pathogens, and alloimmunization. This study provides preclinical evidence that a third-party, cryopreservable source of PLT-generating cells has the potential to complement presently available PLT transfusion products.
Study design and methods: CD34+ hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells derived from umbilical cord blood (UCB) units were used in a simple and efficient culture system to generate a cell product consisting of megakaryocytes (MKs) at different stages of development. The cultures thus generated were evaluated ex vivo and in vivo before and after cryopreservation.
Results: We generated a megakaryocytic cell product that can be cryopreserved without altering its phenotypical and functional capabilities. The infusion of such a product, either fresh or cryopreserved, into immune-deficient mice led to production of functional human PLTs which were observed within a week after infusion and persisted for 8 weeks, orders of magnitude longer than that observed after the infusion of traditional PLT transfusion products. The sustained human PLT engraftment was accompanied by a robust presence of human cells in the bone marrow (BM), spleen, and lungs of recipient mice.
Conclusion: This is a proof-of-principle study demonstrating the creation of a cryopreservable megakaryocytic cell product which releases functional PLTs in vivo. Clinical development of such a product is currently being pursued for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in patients with hematological malignancies.
© 2019 AABB.
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