Embryonic Stem Cells As an Alternate Marrow Donor Source: Engraftment without Graft-Versus-Host Disease

Richard K. Burt*, Larissa Verda, Duck An Kim, Yu Oyama, Kehuan Luo, Charles Link

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


A single embryonic stem cell (ESC) line can be repetitively cryopreserved, thawed, expanded, and differentiated into various cellular components serving as a potentially renewable and well-characterized stem cell source. Therefore, we determined whether ESCs could be used to reconstitute marrow and blood in major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-mismatched mice. To induce differentiation toward hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in vitro, ESCs were cultured in methylcellulose with stem cell factor, interleukin (IL)-3, and IL-6. ESC-derived, cytokine-induced HSCs (c-kit+/CD45+) were isolated by flow cytometry and injected either intra bone marrow or intravenously into lethally irradiated MHC-mismatched recipient mice. From 2 wk to 6 mo after injection, the peripheral blood demonstrated increasing ESC-derived mononuclear cells that included donor-derived T and B lymphocytes, monocytes, and granulocytes without clinical or histologic evidence of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Mixed lymphocyte culture assays demonstrated T cell tolerance to both recipient and donor but intact third party proliferative responses and interferon γ production. ESCs might be used as a renewable alternate marrow donor source that reconstitutes hematopoiesis with intact immune responsiveness without GVHD despite crossing MHC barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)895-904
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 5 2004


  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Hematopoiesis
  • In vivo
  • Mouse
  • Tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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