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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Feb 28, 1995; 92(5): 1570–1574.
PMCID: PMC42561

Long-term culture system for selective growth of human B-cell progenitors.

Abstract

We describe a simple reproducible system for enrichment and long-term culture of human B-cell progenitors. Enriched CD34+ cord blood mononuclear cells are seeded onto a murine stromal cell line to establish a biphasic culture system. These cultures are characterized by transient growth of myeloid cells followed by outgrowth of cells highly enriched for early B-cell progenitors. Cultures consisting of > 90% early B-lineage cells [expressing CD10, CD19, CD38, and CD45 but lacking CD20, CD22, CD23, and surface IgM] are maintained for > 12 weeks without growth factor addition. Cells remain predominantly germ line at the immunoglobulin locus and express only low levels of cytoplasmic mu chain, terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase, and recombination-activating gene 1 product. They are unresponsive to the pre-B-cell growth factors interleukin 7 or stem cell factor, or both, suggesting that growth support is provided by a cross-reactive murine stromal cell factor. Cultured B-cell progenitors are generated in large numbers ( > 10(8) cells from a typical cord blood specimen) suitable for use in biochemical analysis and gene-transfer studies. This system should be useful for study of normal and abnormal early human B-lymphopoiesis.

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