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Umbilical cord blood (UCB) and bone marrow (BM)-derived stem and progenitor cells possess two characteristics required for successful tissue regeneration: extensive proliferative capacity and the ability to differentiate into multiple cell lineages. Within the normal BM and in pathological conditions, areas of hypoxia may have a role in maintaining stem cell fate or determining the fine equilibrium between their proliferation and differentiation. In this study, the transcriptional profiles and proliferation and differentiation potential of UCB CD133(+) cells and BM mesenchymal cells (BMMC) exposed to normoxia and hypoxia were analyzed and compared. Both progenitor cell populations responded to hypoxic stimuli by stabilizing the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1alpha protein. Short exposures to hypoxia increased the clonogenic myeloid capacity of UCB CD133(+) cells and promoted a significant increase in BMMC number. The differentiation potential of UCB CD133(+) clonogenic myeloid cells was unaltered by short exposures to hypoxia. In contrast, the chondrogenic differentiation potential of BMMCs was enhanced by hypoxia, whereas adipogenesis and osteogenesis were unaltered. When their transcriptional profiles were compared, 183 genes in UCB CD133(+) cells and 45 genes in BMMC were differentially regulated by hypoxia. These genes included known hypoxia-responsive targets such as BNIP3, PGK1, ENO2, and VEGFA, and other genes not previously described to be regulated by hypoxia. Several of these genes, namely CDTSPL, CCL20, LSP1, NEDD9, TMEM45A, EDG-1, and EPHA3 were confirmed to be regulated by hypoxia using quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. These results, therefore, provide a global view of the signaling and regulatory network that controls oxygen sensing in human adult stem/progenitor cells derived from hematopoietic tissues.

Original publication




Journal article


Stem Cells

Publication Date





1003 - 1012


AC133 Antigen, Antigens, CD, Bone Marrow Cells, Cell Division, Cell Hypoxia, Colony-Forming Units Assay, Fetal Blood, Gene Expression Profiling, Glycoproteins, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Peptides, Transcription, Genetic