What culture media and cytokines do I need to use to culture hematopoietic stem cells?

Answer

That depends on the goal of the experiment and the cell types you want to obtain. For all applications I would recommend using a serum-free medium, such as StemSpan™ SFEM or SFEM II, as these have been developed to optimally support HSPCs in culture. Dependent on the application, you will need to add different combinations of cytokines. For example, if you want to increase the number of CD34+ cells you need to supplement the medium with cytokines such as TPO, SCF and FLT3-ligand. You can add one or more other cytokines such as IL-3, IL-6, GM-CSF and/or G-CSF to increase cell yields, or use previously optimized StemSpan™ expansion supplements, such as CC100, CC110 or our new CD34+ expansion supplement for more consistent results. However, you need to be aware that it is not possible to expand HSPCs indefinitely without also inducing their differentiation. Some culture conditions can transiently preserve or even increase the number of functional HSPCs during several days or weeks of culture, but eventually the cells will differentiate into mature blood cells.