Isolation, characterization, and biologic features of bone marrow endothelial cells

J Lab Clin Med. 1996 Oct;128(4):399-407. doi: 10.1016/s0022-2143(96)80012-6.


Bone marrow endothelial cells (BMECs) are an integral part of the bone marrow microenvironment and are likely to play an important role in the regulation of hematopoiesis, either by producing growth factors or inhibitory cytokines or by displaying adhesion molecules that can interact with hematopoietic progenitors. In the present study we demonstrate the isolation, propagation, and characterization of BMECs with regard to morphology, growth characteristics, phenotype, and production of cytokines. Furthermore, we report the creation of a cell line with "BMEC-like" characteristics and compare the characteristics of primary BMEC cultures to those of the immortalized cell line. In addition, we demonstrate that BMECs are susceptible to infection by a laboratory strain of human cytomegalovirus (CMV), suggesting that CMV infection of endothelial cells in vivo could potentially play a role in the hematologic abnormalities observed during CMV infection.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Polyomavirus Transforming / analysis
  • Biomarkers
  • Bone Marrow Cells*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Line / cytology
  • Cell Line / drug effects
  • Cell Line / virology
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / pharmacology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / transmission
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Growth Substances / genetics
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / chemistry
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / virology
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Umbilical Veins / cytology


  • Antigens, Polyomavirus Transforming
  • Biomarkers
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Growth Substances
  • RNA, Messenger