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Title: The regulation of stem cell engraftment
Author: Pepperell, Emma E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 573X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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The engraftment of haemopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) from umbilical cord blood (UCB) into adult recipients, although advantageous in terms of sourcing units, the decreased need to match donor and recipient and reduced risk of graft versus host disease (GvHD), is delayed compared to grafts using HSPCs from mobilised peripheral blood (MPB) or bone marrow (BM). One reason for this is the limited number of HSPCs (CD34+/CD133+ cells) in a unit of UCB compared to MPB or BM. The CXCR4-CXCL12 axis is widely recognised as a key player in the bone marrow homing, retention, and engraftment of HSPCs. The aim of this thesis was to investigate whether the engraftment of HSPCs from UCB into the bone marrow could be improved. Firstly, a novel in vitro 3D time-lapse chemotaxis assay to assess the homing capacity of human UCB CD133+ HSPCs, towards the chemokine CXCL12 was developed. One advantage of this assay was that it distinguished cell chemotaxis from chemokinesis and allowed these parameters to be quantified. Human UCB CD133+ HSPC chemotaxis towards CXCL12 was inhibited by the CXCR4 antagonist, AMD3100. Importantly, the presence of CXCL12 or AMD3100 had no affect on cell chemokinesis. To complement the in vitro chemotaxis assay, a short term in vivo homing assay in NSG mice was successfully established. The effect of siRNA silencing of the CXCR4 co-receptor, CD164, which is also expressed on CD133+ HSPCs, on cell migratory and homing ability was investigated. CD164 knock-down using siRNA in human UCB CD133+ HSPCs did not demonstrate an effect on homing to NSG bone marrow in vivo or chemotaxis to CXCL12 in vitro. However, homing to NSG mouse spleen was significantly reduced in cells silenced for CD164. Following this, an 8 day HSPC expansion system using nanofibre scaffolds (Nanex) and differing cytokines was investigated. These serum and feeder free conditions yielded a significant expansion of cells that retained CD133+CD34+ expression and their in vitro chemotactic ability to CXCL12. Time constraints did not permit the engrafting ability of these cells to be analysed in an in vivo HSC reconstitution assay that was initiated. However these studies will provide the basis to support future related research in this laboratory.
Supervisor: Watt, Suzanne M. Sponsor: NHSBT
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Clinical laboratory sciences ; Stem Cell Engraftment ; Chemotaxis ; Migration ; Haemopoietic Stem/progenitor Cells ; Endolyn ; Bone marrow transplantation ; umbilical cord blood ; haemopoietic cell expansion