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Biophys J. 2001 Aug;81(2):675-84.

Modeling pO(2) distributions in the bone marrow hematopoietic compartment. I. Krogh's model.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208-3120, USA.


Human bone marrow (BM) is a tissue of complex architectural organization, which includes granulopoietic loci, erythroblastic islets, and lymphocytic nodules. Oxygen tension (pO(2)) is an important determinant of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation. Thus, understanding the impact of the BM architectural organization on pO(2) levels in extravascular hematopoietic tissue is an important biophysical problem. However, currently it is impossible to measure pO(2) levels and their spatial variations in the BM. Homogeneous Kroghian models were used to estimate pO(2) distribution in the BM hematopoietic compartment (BMHC) and to conservatively simulate pO(2)-limited cellular architectures. Based on biophysical data of hematopoietic cells and characteristics of BM physiology, we constructed a tissue cylinder solely occupied by granulocytic progenitors (the most metabolically active stage of the most abundant cell type) to provide a physiologically relevant limiting case. Although the number of possible cellular architectures is large, all simulated pO(2) profiles fall between two extreme cases: those of homogeneous tissues with adipocytes and granulocytic progenitors, respectively. This was illustrated by results obtained from a parametric criterion derived for pO(2) depletion in the extravascular tissue. Modeling results suggest that stem and progenitor cells experience a low pO(2) environment in the BMHC.

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