Long-term generation of colony-forming cells in liquid culture of CD34+ cord blood cells in the presence of recombinant human stem cell factor
Hematopoietic Cell Growth Factors
Human cord blood was used as a source of progenitor and stem cells to evaluate the effect of recombinant human stem-cell factor (SCF) on colony formation and the generation of colony-forming cells (CFC) under highly defined, serum-deprived conditions. SCF interacted with a number of hematopoietic growth factors to stimulate colony growth and was particularly effective in stimulating the formation of mixed-cell colonies from CD34+ soybean agglutinin negative (SBA-) cells. In suspension culture of CD34+, SBA- cells, SCF alone was unable to maintain cell numbers or CFC but, in combination with interleukin-3 (IL-3), increased input numbers of cells by 10-fold and increased CFC of all kinds by nearly 20-fold. This included erythroid burst-forming cells (BFU-E), granulocyte/macrophage (GM) CFC, and mixed-cell CFC. In contrast, CD34- SBA- cells neither gave rise to CFC nor were maintained by combinations of growth factors including SCF. SCF interacted with erythropoietin (Epo) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to maintain large numbers of cells as well as to generate a twofold to threefold increase in CFC in the case of Epo, and a 10-fold increase in CFC in the case of G-CSF. With Epo, the predominant CFC generated were BFU-E and erythroid CFC and many of the cells in suspension were erythroblasts. In contrast, SCF plus G-CSF resulted in large numbers of granulocytes at various stages of maturation and the CFC generated were almost exclusively granulocytic-CFC. IL-1 and IL-6, alone or in combination with SCF, showed little or no ability to increase cell numbers or generate CFC. In summary, SCF interacts with a variety of hematopoietic growth factors to promote colony formation, particularly mixed-cell colony formation, and also, in suspension culture, SCF interacts with IL-3, G-CSF, and Epo to generate large numbers of differentiated cells as well as a variety of CFC for up to 1 month.