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Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Antagonists Promote the Expansion of Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells

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Science  05 Aug 2010:
1191536
DOI: 10.1126/science.1191536

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Abstract

Although practiced clinically for over 40 years, the use of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplants remains limited by the ability to expand these cells ex vivo. An unbiased screen with primary human HSC identified a purine derivative, StemRegenin 1 (SR1), that promotes the ex vivo expansion of CD34+ cells. Culture of HSC with SR1 led to a 50-fold increase in cells expressing CD34 and a 17-fold increase in cells that retain the ability to engraft immunodeficient mice. Mechanistic studies show that SR1 acts by antagonizing the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). The identification of SR1 and AhR modulation as a means to induce ex vivo HSC expansion should facilitate the clinical use of HSC therapy.