Target cells for friend virus-induced erythroid bursts in vitro

T. A. Kost, M. J. Koury, W. D. Hankins, S. B. Krantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Erythropoietin (Epo) acts on mouse bone marrow cells in vitro in plasma clot or methyl cellulose culture systems to induce the formation of single erythroid colonies, or clusters of erythroid colonies termed bursts. Our laboratory has recently reported the observation that infection of mouse bone marrow cells in vitro with the polycythemia-inducing strain of Friend virus (FV) resulted in the formation of erythroid bursts after 5 days in plasma clot culture in the absence of added Epo. We have now used this system to characterize the target cells for this FV-induced erythroid transformation. The greatest number of FV bursts were observed when marrow cells were obtained from mice whose erythropoiesis had been stimulated by bleeding or phenylhydrazine treatment. Bleeding also resulted in an increase in the number of FV bursts following the infection of spleen cells in vitro. Hypertransfusion of mice, which results in decreased erythropoiesis, yielded a reduced number of FV bursts in vitro, as did prior treatment with actinomycin D. Cell separation studies using velocity sedimentation at unit gravity showed that the cells, which give rise to FV bursts, sedimented with a modal sedimentation velocity between 5.1-8.5 mm/hr. The Epo-dependent colony-forming unit erythroid (CFU-E), which gives rise to a single erythroid colony, also sediments with a modal velocity between 5.1-8.5 mm/hr, while the Epo-dependent day 8 burst-forming unit erythroid (day 8 BFU-E) sediments with a modal velocity between 3.0-6.0 mm/hr. A 20 min incubation of marrow cells with high specific activity 3H-thymidine, prior to virus infection, resulted in a 75-80% reduction in the number of FV bursts. Mixing cells from the upper portion of the gradient, which yielded no FV bursts, with cells from an area in which high numbers of FV bursts were observed did not result in the inhibition of burst formation. These experiments indicate that the primary target cells for FV bursts in vitro are most probably erythroid precursor cells that have matured beyond the day 8 BFU-E and are closely related to the CFU-E.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


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