BACKGROUND Umbilical cord blood (UCB) units collected from African Americans (AAs) have lower total nucleated cell (TNC) and CD34+ cell counts and are more likely to disqualify for banking compared to other ethnic groups. Furthermore, AAs have higher prevalence of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) deficiency. Given the importance of 25(OH)D in hematopoiesis, we examined the racial differences in UCB unit 25(OH)D content and its correlation with UCB cellular characteristics. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS A total of 119 UCB units that did not meet the TNC count banking criteria were analyzed. Fifty-one UCB units were collected from AA mothers and 68 from Caucasian mothers. We analyzed UCB volume, hematocrit (Hct), TNCs, mononuclear cells (MNCs), CD34+ cells, plasma 25(OH)D concentration, and progenitor clonogenic capacity measured by colony-forming cell (CFC) assay. RESULTS Compared to Caucasians, AAs had significantly lower UCB 25(OH)D levels (p<0.0001), TNCs (p=0.002), MNCs (p=0.026), and CD34+ cells (p=0.026). Severe deficiency (25(OH)D<10 ng/mL) was only detected in AAs. No difference in median CFC count/10,000 MNCs was detected between AAs and Caucasians. Independent of race, a significant association was detected between 25(OH)D level and TNCs (r=0.193 p=0.035) and Hct (r=0.196 p=0.033). CONCLUSION These results indicate the importance of 25(OH)D level as a racially independent predictor of UCB cellular characteristics and support further investigation of bioactive vitamin D and other predictors of hematopoiesis on cord blood quality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy