Human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) emerge in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros (AGM) region during Carnegie stages (CS) 14–17. Although we previously reported that these HSCs can generate no less than 300 daughter HSCs, their actual number has never been established. Here, we show that a single human AGM region HSC can generate 600–1600 functional daughter HSCs. The presence of HSCs in the CS 17 liver in one case gave us a unique opportunity to describe a reduction of HSC self-renewal potential after liver colonization. From a clinical perspective, the efficacy of long-term hematopoietic regeneration depends on HSC self-renewal capacity. We quantitatively show that this capacity dramatically declines in the umbilical cord blood (UCB) compared to HSCs in the AGM region. A full appreciation of the vast regenerative potential of the first human embryo-derived HSCs sets a new bar for generation of clinically useful HSCs from pluripotent stem cells.
- AGM region
- umbilical cord blood