CD34+ cells from human umbilical cord blood (CB) were isolated and investigated for megakaryocytic (MK) colony formation in response to recombinant human (rh) stimulatory and suppressive cytokines and compared with their counterparts in normal BM and G-CSF-mobilized peripheral blood (mPBL). First, we observed that IL-11 by itself at any dosage had no stimulator activity on MK colony formation derived from CD34+ cells in CB, mPBL, and BM. IL-3, steel factor (SLF), or thrombopoietin (Tpo) alone stimulated numbers of colony-forming unit-megakaryocyte (CFU-MK) in a dose- dependent fashion. Maximum growth of MK progenitor cells was noted in the presence of a combination of cytokines: IL-11, IL-3, SLF, and Tpo. The frequency of CFU-MK in CB and mPBL was significantly greater than that in BM, and the size of colonies in CB and mPBL was significantly greater than that in BM, and the size of colonies was larger as well. In addition, an increased number of big mixed colonies containing MK were observed in CB and mPBL. In the presence of IL-11, IL-3, SLF, and Tpo, CFU-MK derived from CB, mPBL, and BM was suppressed by tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). CFU-MK derived from normal BM was inhibited by some chemokines evaluated, whereas CFU-MK derived from CB was suppressed only by platelet factor-4 (PF-4), IFN-inducible protein-10 (IP-10), Exodus-1, Exodus-2, and Exodus-3, but to a lesser degree. In CB, unlike granulocyte- macrophage (CFU-GM), erythroid (BFU-E), high-proliferative potential (HPP- CFC), or multipotential (CFU-GEMM) progenitors, at least a subpopulation of MK progenitors are in S-phase. Therefore, CB MK progenitors respond to the suppressive effects of some members of the chemokine family. Similar results were noted for burst-forming unit-MK (BFU-MK). Our results indicate that CB and mPBL are rich sources of MK progenitors and that MK progenitors in CB are responsive to the suppressive effects of TNF-α and TGF-β1 and some members of the chemokine family.
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