Differentiation of normal marrow and HL60 cells induced by antithymocyte globulin

Journal Article

Antithymocyte globulin (ATG) therapy is an important treatment alternative for patients with acquired aplastic anemia. The mechanism by which it exerts its effects on hematopoiesis is unknown. In this report, we describe the ability of horse ATG to induce growth and differentiation of normal bone marrow. A single cell suspension of normal human bone marrow was cultured in methylcellulose medium and examined for the growth and maturation after incubation with ATG (10 μg/ml). After 3-4 days of culture, spherical colonies containing mature myeloid elements were found in cultures containing ATG but not in cultures containing medium or preimmunization horse IgG. The addition of 10% colony-stimulating factor increased growth by 40%. The number of spherical colonies is not dependent on the presence of macrophages or T lymphocytes. This property of ATG may be relevant to the mechanism behind the hematologic recovery in some patients with acquired aplastic anemia. We also describe the ability of ATG to induce terminal differentiation in the HL60 leukemic cell line. ATG binds to HL60 cells and at concentrations between 10 and 100 μg/ml, 50% of the cells become mature granulocytes, acquire the ability to reduce nitroblue tetrazolium, and lose their proliferative capacity in the clonogenic assay. These new observations of ATG-induced differentiation of normal marrow myeloid elements and terminal differentiation of the HL60 cell line point to different avenues for future search of differentiation-inducing agents.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hunter, RF; Mold, NG; Mitchell, RB; Huang, AT

Published Date

  • 1985

Published In

  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Volume / Issue

  • 82 / 14

Start / End Page

  • 4823 - 4827

PubMed ID

  • 3875092