Human growth factor-dependent cell line TF1, which lacks interleukin (IL)-9 receptors (R) and does not grow in IL-9, was transduced with a retroviral vector containing human IL-9R cDNA and a selection marker. An IL- 9-dependent TF1 cell line, which could also grow in other cytokines, was established after selection in G418 and could produce mature RBC in response to cytokine stimulation. TF1 cells transduced with the same viral vector without the IL-9R insert cDNA (mock control) and then selected responded the same as nontransduced TF1 cells. They failed to grow in response to IL-9 and did not generate RBC. An increased number and size of burst-forming units- erythroid (BFU-E)-like colonies were detected from IL-9R-transduced TF1 cells, compared with mock-transduced cells, in response to erythropoietin (EPO) and IL-9. To evaluate self-renewal and differentiation capacity, colony-replating assays were performed in the presence of IL-3, GM-CSF, IL-9, and EPO. After four replatings, the cloning efficiency of IL-9R-transduced TF1 cells decreased from 98% to 38%, most likely due to terminal erythroid cell differentiation. In contrast, no change in replating efficiency was detected in mock-transduced cells. TF1 cells stably expressing IL-9R and responding to IL-9 can serve as a cell line model to study the intracellular signals mediating IL-9-induced erythroid cell proliferation and differentiation.
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