To assess the effects of interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) on very primitive hematopoietic progenitor cells, CD34(2+)CD38- human bone marrow cells were isolated and cultured in a two-stage culture system, consisting of a primary liquid culture phase followed by a secondary semisolid colony assay. CD34(2+)CD38- cells needed at least the presence of interleukin 3 (IL-3) and kit ligand (KL) together with either IL-1, IL-6, or granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) in the primary liquid phase in order to proliferate and differentiate into secondary colony-forming cells (CFC). Addition of IFN-gamma to the primary liquid cultures inhibited cell proliferation and generation of secondary CFC in a dose-dependent way. This was a direct effect since it was also seen in primary single cell cultures of CD34(2+)CD38- cells. The proliferation of more mature CD34+CD38+ cells, however, was not inhibited by IFN-gamma, demonstrating for the first time that IFN-gamma is a specific and direct hematopoietic stem cell inhibitor. IFN-gamma, moreover, preserves the viability of CD34(2+)CD38- cells in the absence of other cytokines. IFN-gamma could, therefore, play a role in the protection of the stem cell compartment from exhaustion in situations of hematopoietic stress and may be useful as stem cell protecting agent against chemotherapy for cancer.
Interferon gamma selectively inhibits very primitive CD342+CD38- and not more mature CD34+CD38+ human hematopoietic progenitor cells.
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H W Snoeck, D R Van Bockstaele, G Nys, M Lenjou, F Lardon, L Haenen, I Rodrigus, M E Peetermans, Z N Berneman; Interferon gamma selectively inhibits very primitive CD342+CD38- and not more mature CD34+CD38+ human hematopoietic progenitor cells.. J Exp Med 1 September 1994; 180 (3): 1177–1182. doi: https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.180.3.1177
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