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Cryobiology. 1983 Dec;20(6):644-51.

Studies of cell separation: a comparison of the osmotic response of human lymphocytes and granulocyte-monocyte progenitor cells.


The feasibility of using hypo- or hypertonic stress to selectively destroy lymphocytes while sparing stem cells was investigated. Lymphocytes were isolated from peripheral blood and exposed to Hanks' balanced salt solutions ranging in concentration from 66 to 2700 mOsm. The Boyle-van't Hoff plot of cell volume versus reciprocal osmolality was linear. Following osmotic stress, viabilities of the lymphocytes and the granulocyte-monocyte progenitor cells (CFUc) were determined. Lymphocyte viability was assessed by tritiated thymidine incorporation following mitogen stimulation. CFUc viability was measured with the soft agar colony assay. Both types of cells were found to possess high osmotic tolerances compared to other blood cells. While progenitor cells in general appeared to survive anisotonic exposure somewhat better than lymphocytes, significant statistical differences were not established for most situations. The highest degree of CFUc enrichment was twofold, but there was a concomitant 50% drop in CFUc survival. These results suggest that osmotic stress is not a useful procedure for the separation of peripheral blood lymphocytes and stem cells.

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