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The human hematopoietic pluripotent repopulating "stem cell" is thought to be present within a minor subpopulation of CD34+ cells. This has not been definitively shown, although the more primitive CD34+ cell subset contains precursors for all lymphoid and nonlymphoid cell lineages. When purifying CD34+ cells, it is important to recover these early progenitors, which are more strongly immunoadsorbent to the separation devices. Using a commercialized panning system (AIS CELLector flasks), we observed that a high degree of purity requires a thorough washing procedure so that cells not binding or weakly binding to CD34 antibodies are removed. High recoveries can be obtained if the adherent cells are then efficiently detached by a 2-hour incubation in culture medium without added cytokines. In this way, we can routinely obtain 93.5 +/- 3.4% purity of CD34+ cells with a 74% yield of the multipotent colony-forming units (CFU-GEMM). Complete recovery of the putative "stem cell," or at least the early progenitor cell compartment (CD34+ CD38low/- CD34+ Thy-1+ cells), is also obtained. More than 30% of these cells can generate day-14 colonies in vitro. Comparable results were obtained when the separation was scaled up for clinical application using appropriate large-scale devices. The various incubation times of the procedure can be easily adjusted to the work schedule. This renders the procedure easy to handle, efficient, safe, and, because the cells can be observed under light microscopy, easy to control.


Journal article


Experimental hematology

Publication Date





407 - 412


Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire et Moleculaire des Facteurs de Croissance, CNRS UPR 272, IRSC, Villejuif, France.


Bone Marrow Cells, Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Humans, ADP-ribosyl Cyclase, Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases, Colony-Stimulating Factors, Erythropoietin, Interleukin-3, Membrane Glycoproteins, Receptors, Colony-Stimulating Factor, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Recombinant Proteins, Antigens, Differentiation, Antigens, CD, Antigens, CD34, Interleukin-6, HLA-DR Antigens, Immunosorbent Techniques, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Cell Separation, Colony-Forming Units Assay, Immunophenotyping, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit, Thy-1 Antigens, ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1, ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1