Chaurasia P, Berenzon D, Hoffman R
Presently, blood transfusion products (TPs) are composed of terminally differentiated cells with a finite life span. We have developed an ex vivo-generated TP composed of erythroid progenitor cells (EPCs) and precursors cells. Several histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) were used in vitro to promote the preferential differentiation of cord blood (CB) CD34(+) cells to EPCs. A combination of cytokines and valproic acid (VPA): (1) promoted the greatest degree of EPC expansion, (2) led to the generation of EPCs which were capable of differentiating into the various stages of erythroid development, (3) led to epigenetic modifications (increased H3 acetylation) of promoters for erythroid-specific genes, which resulted in the acquisition of a gene expression pattern characteristic of primitive erythroid cells, and (4) promoted the generation of a TP that when infused into NOD/SCID mice produced mature RBCs containing both human adult and fetal globins as well Rh blood group Ag which persisted for 3 weeks and the retention of human EPCs and erythroid precursor cells within the BM of recipient mice. This ex vivo-generated EPC-TP likely represents a paradigm shift in transfusion medicine because of its potential to continue to generate additional RBCs after its infusion.