Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) affects proliferation and migration of myeloid leukemic cells

I. S. Weimar, C. Voermans, J. H. Bourhis, N. Miranda, P. C.M. Van Den Berk, T. Nakamura, G. C. De Gast, W. R. Gerritsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), also known as scatter factor (SF), is produced by mesenchymal cells, including bone marrow (BM) stromal cells, and has mitogenic and motogenic effects on a variety of cell types. Recently, a role has been assigned to HGF/SF and its receptor, c-MET, in both normal and malignant hemopoiesis. We investigated the function of HGF/SF on hemopoietic mononuclear cells (MNC) from patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with circulating blasts. In contrast to results with normal MNC, HGF/SF alone stimulated the proliferation and colony formation of MNC from these patients. MNC from some (4/13) of the AML patients also produced HGF/SF (0.1-0.2 ng/ml/day), while we could not detect HGF/SF in cultures from normal MNC. Furthermore, it appeared that HGF/SF induced migration of leukemic cells in Boyden using KG1a cells as a model for leukemic blasts. The membranes dividing the two compartments of the Boyden chambers were coated with fibronectin. HGF/SF significantly promoted migration in 3/5 samples of MDS patients and in 5/7 samples of AML patients. Supernatant of human BM stromal cells, which is chemoattractive for normal human hemopoietic progenitor cells, also promoted migration of MNC from 4/5 MDS patients and 6/7 AML patients. Since HGF/SF is one of the growth factors produced by BM stromal cells, a neutralizing antibody directed against HGF/SF was added to the BM stroma supernatant, which reduced migration significantly in 2/3 MDS and in 3/6 AML responders to BM stroma supernatant. In conclusion, HGF/SF promotes proliferation and migration of hemopoietic cells from AML and MDS patients in vitro and may therefore contribute to the malignant potential of these cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1195-1203
Number of pages9
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Growth factor
  • Hepatocyte
  • Migration
  • Myeloid leukemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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