Indexed on: 14 Jun '03Published on: 14 Jun '03Published in: Journal of hematotherapy & stem cell research
Homing and engraftment of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to bone marrow (BM) is a complex process that primarily depends on the cell-surface expression of adhesion molecules on stem and stromal cells. Here we report an in vitro model for homing of stem cells on pre-established stromal layer; the stroma-adhered cells were found to engraft, multiply, and differentiate in BM of age-matched mice. In vitro study revealed that initially the adhesion of BM cells on irradiated stroma was increased with time, and it attained a peak at 2 h of contacts. During that time, 44.1 +/- 6.5% (n = 8) cells were adhered, and this value was maintained up to 6 x 10(6) cells. The adhered cell fraction was enriched by 3.9-, 2.5-, and 1.7-fold Sca-1, colony forming cell (CFC), and cobblestone area forming cells (CAFC), respectively, as compared to the fresh BM cells. These adhered cells homed to BM with an engraftment efficiency of 11.8 +/- 2.5% (n = 6). The homed cells reconstituted BM of myeloablative mice by self-renewing and differentiating into myeloid cells. Overall, a simple in vitro model system has been described to study homing and grafting of HSCs that can be deployed to any possible experimental conditions to investigate the interactions between stromal and stem cells.