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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Dec 9;94(25):13648-53.

Expansion in vitro of adult murine hematopoietic stem cells with transplantable lympho-myeloid reconstituting ability.

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Terry Fox Laboratory, 601 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC Canada V5Z 1L3.


Elucidation of mechanisms that regulate hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal and differentiation would be facilitated by the identification of defined culture conditions that allow these cells to be amplified. We now demonstrate a significant net increase (3-fold, P < 0.001) in vitro of cells that are individually able to permanently and competitively reconstitute the lymphoid and myeloid systems of syngeneic recipient mice when Sca-1(+)lin- adult marrow cells are incubated for 10 days in serum-free medium with interleukin 11, flt3-ligand, and Steel factor. Moreover, the culture-derived repopulating cells continued to expand their numbers in the primary hosts at the same rate seen in recipients of noncultured stem cells. In the expansion cultures, long-term culture-initiating cells increased 7- +/- 2-fold, myeloid colony-forming cells increased 140- +/- 36-fold, and total nucleated cells increased 230- +/- 62-fold. Twenty-seven of 100 cultures initiated with 15 Sca-1(+)lin- marrow cells were found to contain transplantable stem cells 10 days later. This frequency of positive cultures is the same as the frequency of transplantable stem cells in the original input suspension, suggesting that most had undergone at least one self-renewal division in vitro. No expansion of stem cells was seen when Sca-1+TER119- CD34+ day 14.5 fetal liver cells were cultured under the same conditions. These findings set the stage for further investigations of the mechanisms by which cytokine stimulation may elicit different outcomes in mitotically activated hematopoietic stem cells during ontogeny and in the adult.

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