Hagedorn, E.J., Durand, E.M., Fast, E.M., Zon, L.I. (2014) Getting more for your marrow: Boosting hematopoietic stem cell numbers with PGE2. Experimental cell research. 329(2):220-226.
Throughout the lifetime of an individual, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) self-renew and differentiate into lineages that include erythrocytes, platelets and all immune cells. HSC transplantation offers a potentially curative treatment for a number of hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic malignancies as well as immune and genetic disorders. Limited availability of immune-matched donors reduces the viable options for many patients in need of HSC transplantation, particularly those of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Due to rapid availability and less stringent immune-matching requirements, umbilical cord blood (UCB) has emerged as a valuable source of transplantable HSCs. A single UCB unit contains a suboptimal number of HSCs for treating larger children or adults and there has thus been great clinical interest in expanding UCB HSCs ex vivo for use in transplantation. In this review we discuss the latest research and future avenues for the therapeutic use of small lipid mediator dmPGE2 to expand HSC numbers for transplantation. Originally identified in a chemical screen in zebrafish, dmPGE2 has now advanced to a phase II clinical trial as a therapy for patients with leukemia and lymphoma who are undergoing UCB transplantation.