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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Dec;85(23):9052-6.

Selective and indirect modulation of human multipotential and erythroid hematopoietic progenitor cell proliferation by recombinant human activin and inhibin.

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Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology), Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis 46223.


Activin and inhibin are biomolecules that, respectively, enhance and suppress the release of follicle-stimulating hormone from pituitary cells in vitro. Purified recombinant human (rhu) activin A and inhibin A were assessed for their effects on colony formation in vitro by human multipotential (CFU-GEMM), erythroid (BFU-E), and granulocyte-macrophage (CFU-GM) progenitor cells. It was found that (i) rhu-activin A enhances colony formation by normal bone marrow erythroid and multipotential progenitor cells; (ii) purified rhu-inhibin A decreases activin, but not rhu-interleukin 3, rhu-granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, or rhu-interleukin 4, enhancement of erythropoietin-stimulated colony formation by erythroid and multipotential progenitor cells; (iii) modulatory actions of rhu-activin and rhu-inhibin are mediated through monocytes and T lymphocytes within the marrow; (iv) actions are apparent in the absence or presence of serum; and (v) rhu-activin and rhu-inhibin have no effect on colony formation by granulocyte-macrophage progenitor cells. This defines an indirect mode of action and a specificity for activin and inhibin on multipotential and erythroid progenitor cells.

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