Cell Cycle Specific Effects of Deferoxamine on Human and Murine Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells1

Karl H. Nocka, Louis M. Pelus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


The effect of the iron chelator deferoxamine (DSF) on the proliferation of normal erythroid and granulocyte-macrophage progenitor cells from human and murine bone marrow was examined. The addition of DSF at a concentration equivalent to the concentration of iron present in the culture system resulted in dose dependent inhibition of colony formation by human and murine granulocyte-macrophage progenitor cells and human normal erythroid progenitor cells. The addition of FeCl3 at culture initiation completely reversed the effects of DSF. Furthermore, significant numbers of progenitor cells could be rescued from the effects of DSF by iron added back as late as 24–48 h after exposure to DSF. The cell cycle specificity of DSF was also examined using bone marrow cells treated with high specific activity tritiated thymidine. Kinetic experiments demonstrated that in the presence of DSF the number of erythroid or granulocyte-macrophage colonies that could be rescued was dependent on the length of exposure to DSF. Comparisons between control and tritiated thymidine treated cells indicated that the proliferation of progenitor cells in S phase of the cell cycle was inhibited if iron was withheld until 6 and 24 h after exposure to DSF for murine and human cells, respectively, with little to no effect observed on progenitor cells not in S phase during this time period. These results confirm the importance of iron for hematopoietic progenitor cell proliferation and represent a new method by which the proliferation of cycling cells may be investigated in situ in semisolid culture systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3571-3575
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cell Cycle Specific Effects of Deferoxamine on Human and Murine Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this