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J Clin Invest. 1986 Jan;77(1):74-81.

Dependence of highly enriched human bone marrow progenitors on hemopoietic growth factors and their response to recombinant erythropoietin.


Human bone marrow cells were sequentially fractionated by three negative selection steps to remove adherent cells and Fc receptor-bearing cells, followed by immune adsorption (panning) to deplete maturing cells that react with a panel of monoclonal antibodies. This nonadherent Fc receptor and antibody negative fraction could be further enriched by a positive selection "panning" step, using an antibody to HLA-DR antigen; 12-27% of the cells formed erythroid burst-forming unit (BFU-E), erythroid colony-forming unit, granulocyte-monocyte colony-forming unit, and erythroid and granulocyte and/or monocyte colony-forming unit-derived colonies with recovery of 0.5-1% of the cells and 20-100% of the colony-forming cells. Sequential fractionation resulted in increasing dependence of a subset of BFU-E-derived colonies on exogenous burst-promoting activity (BPA) for proliferation in culture, but the most enriched progenitor fraction still contained a proportion of accessory cell or BPA-independent BFU-E that responded to either natural or biosynthetic erythropoietin when added to cultures on day 0 in the absence of BPA. If the addition of erythropoietin was delayed until day 3, the data suggest that this population of BFU-E either died or became unresponsive to erythropoietin. Delayed addition of erythropoietin to cultures of enriched progenitors provided a sensitive BPA assay, since BPA-independent but erythropoietin-responsive BFU-E were eliminated. The surviving BFU-E that were dependent for their proliferation on the presence of both BPA and erythropoietin showed a characteristic dose response to increasing BPA concentrations.

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