The effect of cytokines on CD34+ Rh-123(high) and (low)progenitor cells from human umbilical cord blood

F. M. Cicuttini, K. L. Welch, A. W. Boyd

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In this study, we show how Rhodamine-123: (Rh-123), as in other hematopoietic populations, can be used to define functionally distinct progenitor cells from human umbilical cord blood (HUCB). CD34+ cells were subdivided into Rh-123(high) (78.2 ± 4.5%) and Rh-123(low) (21.8 ± 3.6%). While 9.3 ± 1.6% of the CD34+Rh-123(high) cells formed colonies in agar, only 0.4 ± 0.2% of the CD34+Rh-123(low) population did so. However, the CD34+Rh-123(low) cells, resulted in the, greatest expansion of colony-forming cells (CFC) when cultured in liquid medium with different cytokine combinations. When the CD34+Rh-123(low) cells were cultured for 7 days with stem cell factor (SCF) and erythropoietin (Epo), the CD34+Rh-123(low) cells resulted in a 94-fold increase in CFC compared with a 2.5-fold increase from the CD34+Rh-123(high) cells. The combination of SCF and Epo or granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) supported the production and maintenance of CFC from CD34+Rh-123(low) cells > 28 days compared with only 21 days for the CD34+Rh-123(high) cells. Coculture of CD34+Rh-123(low) cells with stromal cell line 11 (SCL11) demonstrated that long-term culture initiating cells (LTCIC) were present within this population, as CFC could be recovered for > 10 weeks compared with < 6 weeks in cocultures with CD34+Rh-123(high) cells. The duration of maintenance of CFC in. liquid culture could be further enhanced by the addition of an antibody (Ab) directed against the binding site of the GM-CSF receptor. The addition of anti-GM-CSF receptor Ab to cultures of CD34+Rh-123(high) and (low) cells supplemented with SCF, interleukin-3 (IL-3), and IL-6 resulted in an initial 10-fold decrease in CFC in cultures of both the CD34+Rh-123(high) and (low) cells. Although very few CFCs were present by 42 days in liquid cultures of CD34+Rh-123(high) cells, the number of CFCs in these cultures was significantly increased when anti-GM-CSF receptor Ab was added. Although this effect was also observed in cultures of CD34+Rh-123(low) cells, it was less dramatic as more CFC persisted even in the absence of Ab. The possible mechanism of this effect is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1244-1251
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • CD34/Rh-123
  • Cord blood

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