Characterization of monolayer and organ cultures of cloned and enriched lymphohematopoietic stroma cell populations.
The role of hematopoietic microenvironments in the regulation of maturation and differentiation of hematopoietic cells, although heavily debated, remains uncertain. Several investigators have suggested that the adherent "stromal" cell populations, which grow as colonies in cultures of lymphomyeloid tissues, include the cells involved in such regulatory processes. Grossly, the colonies described by several investigators appear similar morphologically, and the cells giving rise to them have been variously termed 1) fibroblast colony forming cells (FCFC), 2) plaque forming units-culture (PFU-C), 3) macrophage colonies, and 4) marrow stromal cells. FCFC have been reported to re-establish their parent microenvironment when transplanted in an allogeneic system. In this study, cloned and enriched cell populations obtained from such colonies in cultures of murine lymphomyeloid tissues have been characterized by their growth in culture and using morphological, histochemical, and electron microscopic techniques. The results demonstrated that, although the initial stromal colonies appeared to be identical, the constituent cell types varied considerably. Some colonies were comprised primarily of macrophages, while others appeared to contain predominantly fibroblasts; two additional cell types that established colonies have not yet been satisfactorily identified. These results demonstrate the heterogeneity of lymphomyeloid stromal colonies. There is a need for caution in the analysis of experiments in which uncharacterized stromal cell colonies are transplanted or employed as supporting monolayers in culture systems in experiments designed to evaluate the origins and functions of lymphohematopoietic stroma.
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