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Differentiation and proliferation of almost all hemopoietic cell lines can now be studied in vitro. Cloning techniques and suspension cultures allow the study of proliferation of the multipotential hemopoietic progenitor cell and the committed progenitors for granulocytes, macrophages, eosinophils, megakaryocytes, and erythrocytes. The proliferation of each of the committed progenitor cells is controlled by specific glycoproteins and two of these have recently been purified: granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and erythropoietin. The rate of proliferation of the GM-progenitor cells and their pattern of differentiation depends on the concentration of the hormone. At low concentrations of GM-CSF (10-11M) fewer progenitor cells are stimulated and macrophage colonies rather than granulocyte colonies develop. The change in the direction of granulocyte-macrophage differentiation appears to be related to a) the concentration of GM- CSF and b) the different sensitivity of a subpopulation of monocyte colony-forming cells which are responsive to GM-CSF even at low concentrations of the regulator. Analysis of the rate of RNA synthesis by bone marrow cells has shown that GM-CSF stimulates the mature nondividing end cells of differentiation (ie, polymorphs) as well as the progenitor cells. Although GM-CSF and erythropoietin have been radiolabeled, binding studies have been hampered by the loss of biologic activity during the labeling procedure and the heterogeneity of the target cells to which the regulators bind. Surface proteins and receptors for erythrocytes have been well characterized but the relationships between these proteins and the cell surface proteins of nucleated blood cells are not well understood. It appears that some proteins are lost from the cell surface during the development of granulocytes, which are retained on the surface of the B lymphocyte. Other proteins such as chemotactic receptors and complement receptors only appear on the mature cells. External radiolabeling of the granulocyte surface using iodogen yielded a simple profile of 125I-labeled proteins when analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Supramolecular and Cellular Biochemistry

Publication Date





489 - 500