Hematopoietic and nature killer cell development from human pluripotent stem cells

Zhenya Ni, David A. Knorr, Dan S Kaufman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

30 Scopus citations


Natural killer (NK) cells are key effectors of the innate immune system, protecting the host from a variety of infections, as well as malignant cells. Recent advances in the field of NK cell biology have led to a better understanding of how NK cells develop. This progress has directly translated to improved outcomes in patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplants to treat potentially lethal malignancies. However, key differences between mouse and human NK cell development and biology limits the use of rodents to attain a more in depth understanding of NK cell development. Therefore, a readily accessible and genetically tractable cell source to study human NK cell development is warranted. Our lab has pioneered the development of lymphocytes, specifically NK cells, from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and more recently induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). This chapter describes a reliable method to generate NK cells from hESCs and iPSCs using murine stromal cell lines. Additionally, we include an updated approach using a spin-embryoid body (spin-EB) differentiation system that allows for human NK cell development completely defined in vitro conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEmbryonic Stem Cell Immunobiology
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781627034777
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Embryoid body
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Hematopoietic progenitors
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Natural killer cells
  • Stromal cell coculture


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