We describe the development of a human bone marrow (BM) culture system which allows study of the interaction of stromal cell lines (SCL) and highly purified hematopoietic progenitor cells. Normal BM stromal cells were electroporated with a plasmid containing the simian virus 40 (SV40) large T antigen (SV40 T Ag) under the control of a synthetic methallothionein promoter (MT4); this construct is designated MT4 SV40 T Ag. SCL in which the rate of proliferation could be controlled by altering the zinc (Zn) concentration were characterized, demonstrating that the SCL were heterogeneous with respect to G-CSF and GM-CSF production. Suppression of SCL proliferation on removal of Zn made it possible to use these lines in coculture with purified CD34+ progenitor cells from umbilical cord blood. The ability to control proliferation of SCL has allowed us to maintain the survival and expansion of colony-forming cells in culture for up to 2 months. These lines have enabled us to test for stromal cell characteristics at a clonal level and provided us with a tool to analyze the events leading to lineage commitment and hematopoietic differentiation, as demonstrated by suppression of hematopoiesis by an antibody directed against the c-kit molecule.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1992|