Further phenotypic characterization and isolation of human hematopoietic progenitor cells using a monoclonal antibody to the c-kit receptor

Blood. 1992 Jun 15;79(12):3159-67.


A mouse antihuman monoclonal IgG2a antibody, termed stem cell receptor-1 (SR-1), specific for a determinant of the c-kit ligand receptor (KR), was used as an immunologic probe to analyze KR expression by human bone marrow hematopoietic progenitor cells. Monoclonal antibodies to CD34 and HLA-DR were used in a multicolor staining protocol in conjunction with SR-1 to further define the phenotypes of various classes of hematopoietic progenitor cells. Expression of KR (SR-1+) on hematopoietic progenitor cells identified subpopulations of cells expressing CD34 (CD34+). While one-half of the CD34- and HLA-DR-expressing cells (CD34+ HLA-DR+) expressed the KR (SR-1+), one-third of the CD34+ cells that lacked HLA-DR expression (CD34+ HLA-DR-) were SR-1+. The CD34+ HLA-DR+ SR-1+ cell population contained the vast majority of the more differentiated progenitor cells, including the colony-forming unit (CFU) granulocyte-macrophage; burst-forming unit-erythrocyte; CFU-granulocyte, erythrocyte, macrophage, megakaryocyte; and the CFU-megakaryocyte. The overall progenitor cell cloning efficiency of this subpopulation was greater than 31%. By contrast, the CD34+ HLA-DR- SR-1+ cell population contained fewer of these more differentiated progenitor cells but exclusively contained the more primitive progenitor cells, the BFU-megakaryocyte, high proliferative potential-colony-forming cell, and long-term bone marrow culture-initiating cell. The overall progenitor cell cloning efficiency of this subpopulation was greater than 7%. Both the CD34+ HLA-DR- and CD34+ HLA-DR+ cell subpopulations lacking KR expression contained few assayable hematopoietic progenitor cells. Long-term bone marrow cultures initiated with CD34+ HLA-DR- SR-1+ but not CD34+ HLA-DR- SR-1- cells, which were repeatedly supplemented with c-kit ligand (KL) and interleukin-3, generated assayable progenitor cells of at least 2 lineages for 10 weeks. These experiments demonstrate the expression of the KR throughout the hierarchy of human hematopoietic progenitor cell development. We conclude from our data that the KL and KR play a pivotal role in cytokine regulation of both the primitive and more differentiated human hematopoietic progenitor cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Antigens, CD34
  • Bone Marrow Cells*
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Separation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Clone Cells
  • Erythropoietin / pharmacology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / chemistry
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Interleukin-3 / pharmacology
  • Phenotype*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / analysis*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / immunology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, CD34
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Interleukin-3
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Erythropoietin
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit