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Leukemia. 2004 Feb;18(2):341-7.

NOD/SCID mice engineered to express human IL-3, GM-CSF and Steel factor constitutively mobilize engrafted human progenitors and compromise human stem cell regeneration.

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Terry Fox Laboratory, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Transplantation of immunodeficient mice with human hematopoietic cells has greatly facilitated studies of the earliest stages of human hematopoiesis. These include demonstration of the ability of injected 'human-specific' hematopoietic growth factors to enhance the production of human cells at multiple levels of differentiation. In contrast, the effects of continuous exposure to such molecules have not been well investigated. Here, we show that nonobese diabetic severe combined immunodeficiency mice genetically engineered to produce ng/ml serum levels of human interleukin-3 (IL-3), granulocyte/macrophage-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and Steel factor (SF) display a complex phenotype when transplanted with primitive human bone marrow (BM) or fetal liver cells. This phenotype is characterized by an enhancement of terminal human myelopoiesis and a matched suppression of terminal human erythropoiesis, with a slight reduction in human B-lymphopoiesis in the BM of the engrafted mice. Human clonogenic progenitors are more prevalent in the blood of the transplanted growth factor-producing mice and this is accompanied by a very marked reduction of more primitive human cells in the BM. Our findings suggest that long-term exposure of primitive human hematopoietic cells to elevated levels of human IL-3, GM-CSF and SF in vivo may deleteriously affect the stem cell compartment, while expanding terminal myelopoiesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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