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Cell Growth Differ. 1998 Feb;9(2):105-12.

Rescue from apoptosis in early (CD34-selected) versus late (non-CD34-selected) human hematopoietic cells by very late antigen 4- and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM) 1-dependent adhesion to bone marrow stromal cells.

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The Medical Oncology Section and The Comprehensive Cancer Center of The Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8032, USA.


Monoclonal antibodies to very late antigen 4 (VLA-4) recognize the alpha4beta1 integrin receptor. This monoclonal antibody blocks the adhesion between early hematopoietic progenitor cells (CD34-selected cells) and stromal cells when added to cultures of these cells. Addition of the VLA-4 monoclonal antibody to cultures of stromal cells and CD34-selected cells was shown to induce apoptosis of CD34-selected cells in these CD34-selected cell/stromal cell cocultures, as measured by the terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end-labeling method. In contrast to these experiments with early hematopoietic progenitor cells (CD34+), the level of adhesion between more differentiated cells (unfractionated hematopoietic cells) and stromal cells was not significantly altered by addition of the anti-VLA-4 monoclonal antibody. Similarly, the level of apoptosis of unfractionated hematopoietic cells was not significantly increased by the addition of anti-VLA-4 monoclonal antibody to cultures of the latter cells with stromal cells. The binding of the unfractionated cells is less than that of the CD34-selected cells. Given that there is no difference between the alpha4beta1 integrin expression level of the early and late myeloid cells, there may be a difference in the functional state of the integrin between the early and late myeloid cells. We also show that CD34+-selected precursor cells proliferate at a higher rate when these cells are plated on recombinant vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 molecules. These data indicate that the alpha4beta1 integrin receptor (VLA-4) plays a central role in the apoptosis rescue function that results from the anchorage-dependent growth of the CD34-selected early hematopoietic cells on stromal cells. The data suggest that these apoptosis rescue pathways have less significance as the cells mature and become anchorage independent in their growth. These data should assist in the design of systems for the ex vivo proliferation and transduction of early hematopoietic cells for genetic therapy.

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