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Modulating aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) signaling to expand and differentiate hematopoietic progenitor cells

Modulating AHR signaling could improve the expansion and differentiation of hematopoietic progenitor cells and aid the development of blood products for therapeutic use. In cell culture, human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells were differentiated into hematopoietic progenitor cells. During expansion of the progenitor cells, an AHR agonist increased cell yields 600-fold compared with no treatment. In the expanded cell populations, chronic AHR agonism promoted differentiation into erythoid cells, whereas acute AHR antagonism promoted differentiation into megakaryocytes. Next steps include transplantation studies in mice to evaluate the functionality of the derived cells.

SciBX 6(25); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.639
Published online June 27, 2013

Patent pending; licensing details available from Boston University's Office of Technology Development

Smith, B.W. et al. Blood;
published online May 30, 2013;
Contact: George J. Murphy, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass.