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Leukemia. 1990 Oct;4(10):712-6.

Growth and differentiation of a murine interleukin-3-producing myelomonocytic leukemia cell line in a protein-free chemically defined medium.

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Department of Pediatrics, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Japan.


We established the continuous growth of WEHI-3B D+ cells in protein-free chemically defined F-12 medium by stepwise decreases in the concentration of fetal calf serum. This cell line, designated as WEHI-3B-Y1, has now been propagated in protein-free F-12 medium for 3 years. The population-doubling time of the cells in culture is about 24 hr. WEHI-3B-Y1 cells are immature undifferentiated cells which show positive staining for naphthol ASD chloroacetate esterase and alpha-naphthyl butyrate esterase and spontaneously exhibit a low level of differentiation to mature granulocytes and macrophages. Medium conditioned by WEHI-3B-Y1 cells stimulated the proliferation of an interleukin-3 (IL-3)-dependent FDCP-2 cell line. This conditioned medium was shown to have erythroid burst-promoting activity when assayed using normal murine bone marrow. The colony formation of WEHI-3B-Y1 cells in semi-solid agar culture was not stimulated by purified recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (rhG-CSF). However, in the presence of human transferrin, rhG-CSF enhanced the number of colonies of WEHI-3B-Y1 cells but did not induce their differentiation. These results suggest that WEHI-3B-Y1 cells cultured in protein-free medium produced murine IL-3. In addition, human G-CSF enhanced the clonal growth but did not induce the differentiation of WEHI-3B-Y1 cells cultured in serum-free medium.

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