Role of cytokines in sustaining long-term human megakaryocytopoiesis in vitro

R. A. Briddell, J. E. Brandt, T. B. Leemhuis, R. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


An in vitro liquid suspension culture system was used to determine the role of cytokines in sustaining long-term human megakaryocytopoiesis. Bone marrow cells expressing CD34 but not HLA-DR (CD34+DR-) were used as the inoculum of cells to initiate long-term bone marrow cultures (LTBMC). CD34+DR- cells (5 x 103/mL) initially contained 0.0 ± 0.0 assayable colony-forming unit-megakaryocytes (CFU-MK), 6.2 ± 0.4 assayable burst-forming unit-megakaryocytes (BFU-MK), and 0.0 ± 0.0 megakaryocytes (MK). LTBMCs were recharged every 48 hours with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin-1α (IL-1α), IL-3, and/or IL-6, alone or in combination. LTBMCs were demidepopulated weekly or biweekly, the number of cells and MK enumerated, and then assayed for CFU-MK and BFU-MK. LTBMCs receiving no cytokine(s) contained no assayable CFU-MK or BFU-MK and no observable MK. LTBMCs receiving GM-CSF, IL-1α, and/or IL-3 contained assayable CFU-MK and MK but no BFU-MK for 10 weeks of culture. The effects of GM-CSF and IL-3, IL-1α and IL-3, but not GM-CSF and IL-1α were additive with regards to their ability to augment the numbers of assayable CFU-MK during LTBMC. LTBMCs supplemented with IL-6 contained modest numbers of assayable CFU-MK for only 4 weeks; this effect was not additive to that of GM-CSF, IL-1α, or IL-3. The addition of GM-CSF, IL-1α, and IL-3 alone or in combination each led to the appearance of significant numbers of MKs during LTBMC. By contrast, IL-6 supplemented cultures contained relatively few MK. These studies suggest that CD34+DR- cells are capable of initiating long-term megakaryocytopoiesis in vitro and that a hierarchy of cytokines exists capable of sustaining this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-337
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of cytokines in sustaining long-term human megakaryocytopoiesis in vitro'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this