Very interesting fact has been noticed by scientists, that normal human bone marrow (hBM)-derived CD34(+) cells, released into the peripheral blood after granulocyte colony-stimulating factor mobilization, contain cell subpopulations committed along endothelial and cardiac differentiation pathways.
These subpopulations could play a key role in the regeneration of post-ischemic myocardial lesion after their direct intracardiac delivery.
It is supposed that these relevant cells might be issued from very small embryonic-like stem cells deposited in the BM during ontogenesis and reside lifelong in the adult BM, and that they could be mobilized into peripheral blood by granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.
To prove this samples of normal hBM and leukapheresis products harvested from cancer patients after granulocyte colony-stimulating factor mobilization were analyzed and sorted by multiparameter flow cytometry strategy.
Immunofluorescence and reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays were performed to analyze the expression of typical pluripotent stem cells markers.
Results of analysis have shown a population of CD34(+)/CD133(+)/CXCR4(+)/Lin(-) CD45(-) immature cells.
Most interestingly among this population, very small (2-5 µm) cells expressing Oct-4, Nanog, and stage-specific embryonic antigen-4 at protein and messenger RNA levels were identified.
This study supports the hypothesis that very small embryonic-like stem cells constitute a "mobile" pool of primitive/pluripotent stem cells that could be released from the BM into the peripheral blood under the influence of various physiological or pathological stimuli.
In order to completely support the idea that hBM- and leukapheresis product-derived very small embryonic-like stem cells are actually pluripotent, currently their ability to differentiate in vitro into cells from all three germ layers is being tested.