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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1975 Sep;72(9):3556-60.

Erythroid colony induction without erythropoietin by Friend leukemia virus in vitro.


Erythroid colonies could be produced without the addition of erythropeietin in plasma cultures seeded with bone marrow cells from normal C3Hf/Bi mice by exposure of the cells in vitro to medium from a cell line (IS) that continuously produces Friend leukemia virus in culture. The activity in the culture medium was viral rather than erythropoietin-like, since it was sedimentable by high-speed centrifugation and heat labile. Erythroid colonies did not develop when the bone marrow cells exposed to virus-containing medium were from mice genetically resistant to Friend virus. IS culture medium contained both Friend spleen focus-forming and XC-plaque-forming activities. No erythroid colonies were induced when genetically sensitive cells were exposed to a preparation from which the spleen focus-forming activity had been removed, but which contained XC plaque-forming activity in high concentration. Thus the spleen focus-forming component of Friend virus appeared to be responsible for inducing erythroid colony formation without erythropoietin in vitro. Some erythroid colonies were also found in control cultures to which neither virus nor erythropoietin had been added. Reduction in the concentration of fetal calf serum in the culture medium substantially decreased the number of these colonies but had only a minor effect on the number of virus-induced colonies. The number of erythroid colonies produced after 2 days of culture without erythropoietin or fetal calf serum was approximately proportional to the titer of Friend spleen focus-forming virus to whcih the bone marrow cells had been exposed. This system should prove useful for investigation in vitro of Friend virus--host cell interactions which lead to erythropoietin-independent erythropoiesis.

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