Skewed fate and hematopoiesis of CD34+ HSPCs in umbilical cord blood amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Academic Article


  • Umbilical cord blood (UCB) is an irreplaceable source for hematopoietic stem progenitor cells (HSPCs). However, the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 vaccination on UCB phenotype, specifically the HSPCs therein, are currently unknown. We thus evaluated any effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or COVID-19 vaccination from the mother on the fate and functionalities of HSPCs in the UCB. The numbers and frequencies of HSPCs in the UCB decreased significantly in donors with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and more so with COVID-19 vaccination via the induction of apoptosis, likely mediated by IFN-γ-dependent pathways. Two independent hematopoiesis assays, a colony forming unit assay and a mouse humanization assay, revealed skewed hematopoiesis of HSPCs obtained from donors delivered from mothers with SARS-CoV-2 infection history. These results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 vaccination impair the functionalities and survivability of HSPCs in the UCB, which would make unprecedented concerns on the future of HSPC-based therapies.
  • Published In

  • iScience  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 28504795
  • Author List

  • Estep BK; Kuhlmann CJ; Osuka S; Suryavanshi GW; Nagaoka-Kamata Y; Samuel CN; Blucas MT; Jepson CE; Goepfert PA; Kamata M
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 12