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Exp Hematol. 1994 Feb;22(2):174-7.

Sl/Sld hematopoietic progenitors are deficient in situ.

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  • 1Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME 04609.


The hematopoietic microenvironment in Steel mutant mice does not support erythropoiesis, megakaryocytopoiesis, or mast cell generation. The question of whether Steel hematopoietic progenitors are present in normal numbers has never been convincingly addressed. In this report, Sl/Sld marrow cells were assessed for long-term competitive repopulation ability in vivo and for short-term growth in vitro. In vivo repopulation assays indicate that the Sl/Sld progenitors are at a distinct disadvantage when they compete against congenic genetically marked +/+ cells in a +/+ host. On the other hand, the Steel erythroid colony-forming cells (CFU-E) respond normally to erythropoietin (Epo) in vitro and are present at normal frequency. Because the Steel marrow is less cellular than normal marrow, the absolute number of CFU-E is decreased. Results suggest that the absence of membrane-bound Steel factor in the mutant donor has a direct effect on Steel hematopoietic progenitors, which is not alleviated during growth for over 6 months in a normal microenvironment. The anomaly does not seem to directly affect the frequency of more mature adult erythroid progenitors.

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