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Erythropoietin-stimulated erythropoiesis in long-term bone marrow culture


The proliferation of multipotential haematopoietic stem cells (CFU-S) is possible in some long-term bone marrow cultures1–3. Granulocyte and macrophage progenitors (CFU-C)2 and megakaryocyte precursor cells (CFU-M)4 are present in these cultures and undergo full development into mature cells5–7. In contrast, while immature erythroid progenitors (‘early’ BFU-E) are maintained in long-term culture, none of the more differentiated progeny (CFU-E) have been detected, and no morphologically recognisable erythroid cells have been observed8–11. We now describe a modified culture system in which the ‘early’ BFU-E develop into ‘late’ BFU-E in response to added erythropoietin. Further maturation of these cells into CFU-E and non-nucleated erythrocytes can be achieved by mechanical agitation of the long-term cultures or by transferring the cells into dishes which do not allow cell attachment to occur.

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Eliason, J., Testa, N. & Dexter, T. Erythropoietin-stimulated erythropoiesis in long-term bone marrow culture. Nature 281, 382–384 (1979).

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