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Exp Hematol. 1996 Feb;24(2):158-68.

Expression of megakaryocytic and erythroid properties in human leukemic cells.

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Department of Anatomy, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Previous studies have suggested that megakaryocytes and erythrocytes may share a common precursor cell. However, studies on the commitment to erythroid and megakaryocytic lineages have been hampered by the lack of suitable human leukemic cell lines having this kind of bipotential differentiation capability. We investigated the coexpression of megakaryocytic and erythroid markers in human leukemic cell lines as well as the capability of these cells to further differentiate upon exposure to differentiation-inducing agents. We report that the JK-1 cell line, previously characterized as a typically erythroid cell line with spontaneous differentiation to red cells, actually coexpressed megakaryocytic cell surface antigens and erythroid spectrins. We also report that the JK-1 cells could be induced to differentiate along the megakaryocytic lineage by treatment with 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA). The other cell lines studied variably expressed megakaryocytic and erythroid antigens, the DAMI and CMK cells predominantly megakaryocytic properties and the T-33 and K562 cells some erythroid markers, whereas the HEL cells expressed markers for both lineages of differentiation. Our results suggest that the JK-1 cell line represents an immature cell population that has not yet been committed to either of the two lineages of differentiation. The JK-1 cell line might provide a useful tool for further studies on the transcriptional regulation of erythroid and megakaryocytic phenotypes and for studies on the commitment to these lineages of differentiation. Our results also suggest that the leukemic cell lines show a considerable plasticity in the expression of properties normally specific for distinct lineages of differentiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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