Hematopoietic stem cells are immature blood cells. Since they are capable of giving rise to all the mature cells of the blood, they are often transplanted to patients affected by leukemia. Whereas cord blood is an excellent source of hematopoietic stem cells for transplantation, it contains only a limited amount of cells. As a consequence, strategies need to be developed to expand the number of cord-blood derived hematopoietic stem cells trough in vitro cultures.
Guy Sauvageau, University of Montreal, Canada, and colleagues screened a library of 5280 low molecular weight compounds for their ability to promote hematopoietic stem cell expansion. Using this approach, the researchers obtained UM171 (pictured), a pyrimidoindole derivative that induces a robust expansion of cord-blood derived hematopoietic stem cells in vitro, even at small doses.
The novel compound may, therefore, improve hematopoietic stem cells transplants for leukemic patients.
- Pyrimidoindole derivatives are agonists of human hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal,
I. Fares, J. Chagraoui, Y. Gareau, S. Gingras, R. Ruel, N. Mayotte, E. Csaszar, D. J. H. F. Knapp, P. Miller, M. Ngom, S. Imren, D.-C. Roy, K. L. Watts, H.-P. Kiem, R. Herrington, N. N. Iscove, R. K. Humphries, C. J. Eaves, S. Cohen, A. Marinier, P. W. Zandstra, G. Sauvageau,
Science 2014, 345, 1509–1512.