The c-kit receptor and its ligand, steel factor (SLF), are critical for optimal hematopoiesis. We evaluated effects of transducing cord blood (CB) progenitor cells with a retrovirus encoding human c-kit cDNA. CD34+ cells were sorted as a population or as 1 cell/well for cells expressing high levels of CD34+++ and different levels of c-kit (++, +, (Lo/-)), transduced and then cultured in the presence of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin-3 (IL-3), IL-6, erythropoietin (Epo) +/- SLF in the absence of serum. At a single-cell level, transduction with c-kit, but not with control (neo only), virus significantly increased colony formation, especially by erythroid and multipotential progenitors. The enhancing effect of c-kit transduction was inversely correlated with expression of c-kit protein before transduction. The greatest enhancing effects were noted in CD34+++ kit(Lo/-) cells transduced with c- kit. The stimulating effect was apparent even in the absence of exogenously added SLF, but in the presence of GM-CSF, IL-3, IL-6, and Epo. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) of SLF protein, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of SLF mRNA expression in CD34+ cells, and use of neutralizing antibodies to SLF and/or c-kit suggested the presence of endogenous, although probably very low level, expression of SLF by these progenitor cells. Transduction of c-kit significantly decreased sensitivity of progenitor cells to the inhibitory effects of transforming growth factor- β1 and tumor necrosis factor-α, c-kit-transduced cells had increased expression of c-kit protein and decreased spontaneous or cytokine-induced apoptosis. Our results suggest that transduced c-kit into selected progenitor cells can enhance proliferation and decrease apoptosis and that endogenous SLF may mediate this effect.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - Oct 1 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology