Hematopoietic differentiation from human ESCs as a model for developmental studies and future clinical translations. Invited review following the FEBS Anniversary Prize received on 5 July 2009 at the 34th FEBS Congress in Prague


I. Moreno-Gimeno, Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe, Valencia 46012, Spain
Fax: 00 34 963289701
Tel: 00 34 963289680
E-mail: imoreno@cipf.es


Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells are excellent models for the study of embryonic hematopoiesis in vitro, aiding the design of new differentiation models that may be applicable to cell-replacement therapies. Adult and fetal hematopoietic stem cells are currently being used in biomedical applications; however, the latest advances in regenerative medicine and stem cell biology suggest that hESC-derived hematopoietic stem cells are an outstanding tool for enhancing immunotherapy and treatments for blood disorders and cancer, for example. In this review, we compare various methods used for inducing in vitro hematopoietic differentiation from hESCs, based on co-culture with stromal cells or formation of embryoid bodies, and analyse their ability to give rise to hematopoietic precursors, with emphasis on their engraftment potential as a measure of their functionality in vivo.