Cord blood in regenerative medicine: do we need immune suppression?
Neil H Riordan1, Kyle Chan2, Annette M Marleau1 and Thomas E Ichim1
1Medistem Laboratories Inc, Tempe Arizona, USA
2Institute for Molecular Medicine, Huntington Beach, California, USA
Cord blood is currently used as an alternative to bone marrow as a source of stem cells for hematopoietic reconstitution after ablation. It is also under intense preclinical investigation for a variety of indications ranging from stroke, to limb ischemia, to myocardial regeneration. A major drawback in the current use of cord blood is that substantial morbidity and mortality are associated with pre-transplant ablation of the recipient hematopoietic system. Here we raise the possibility that due to unique immunological properties of both the stem cell and non-stem cell components of cord blood, it may be possible to utilize allogeneic cells for regenerative applications without needing to fully compromise the recipient immune system. Issues raised will include: graft versus host potential, the immunogeneicity of the cord blood graft, and the parallels between cord blood transplantation and fetal to maternal trafficking. The previous use of unmatched cord blood in absence of any immune ablation, as well as potential steps for widespread clinical implementation of allogeneic cord blood grafts will also be discussed.
Journal of Translational Medicine 2007, 5:8. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.