Ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is one of the most promising strategies to increase the availability of transplantable HSCs and improve bone marrow transplantation outcomes. We recently demonstrated that mouse HSCs could be efficiently expanded in polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)-containing culture medium using only recombinant stem cell factor and thrombopoietin cytokines. However, the behavior of human HSCs in these simple PVA-based media was not fully elucidated. In this study, we analyzed the compatibility of PVA of different hydrolysis rates (HR) and molecular weights (MW) to support functional human and mouse HSCs ex vivo. Human and mouse HSCs proliferated more frequently in media containing PVA with lower HR than with higher HR, but both PVA types supported HSC multilineage reconstitution potential. Importantly, human HSCs cultured in PVA-containing media engrafted not only in irradiated recipients but also in non-irradiated recipients. Our results demonstrate that human HSCs can be maintained ex vivo using PVA-based culture systems and suggest approaches for future optimization of human HSC expansion.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.