Spleen colonies produced by transplanting lethally irradiated mice with either 12 day fetal liver or adult bone marrow cells were found to contain B- lymphocyte colony-forming cells (BL-CFC) . The proportion of BL-CFC positive spleen colonies did not increase substantially between 8 and 14 days after transplantation, the range being 18-45 percent. However, the absolute number of BL-CFC per spleen colony varied considerably (between 1 and 10,318), although the majority of colonies contained less than 200 BL-CFC. Irrespective of the time after transplantation, smaller spleen colonies were found to have a higher frequency of BL-CFC than larger spleen colonies.
To determine the possible clonal origin of BL-CFC from spleen colony- forming unit (CFU-S), CBA mice were injected with equal numbers of CBA and CBA T(6)/T(6) fetal liver or adult bone marrow cells. Analysis of 7-15-day spleen colonies demonstrated that 90 percent were either exclusively T(6) positive or T(6) negative and approximately equal numbers ofboth colony types were observed. B-lymphocyte colonies were grown and successfully karyotyped from 19 spleen colonies. When compared with the original spleen colony karyotype the B-lymphocyte colony cells karyotype was identical in all 19 cases. In 3 of the 19 colonies analyzed a mixture of T(6) positive and T(6) negative karyotypes was present and identical proportions of the karyotypes were present in the pooled B-lymphocyte colony cells and spleen colony cells.
The data indicate that the B-lymphocyte colony-forming cells detected in spleen colonies are genuine members of the hemopoietic clone derived from the initiating hemopoietic stem cell (CFU-S).