Research Article Free access | 10.1172/JCI108706
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Published May 1, 1977 - More info
In the plasma clot culture system both normal and polycythemia vera (PV) bone marrow cells respond to erythropoietin (Ep), giving rise to large numbers of colonies of erythroid cells. In PV, but not in normal individuals, the marrow produced endogenous erythroid colonies (EED) in the absence of exogenous Ep. The number of EEC formed varied from patient to patient comprising anywhere from 6 to 29% of the total number of colonies formed in the presence of Ep. Exposure, before use in culture, of fetal calf serum and citrated bovine plasma to the gammaglobulin fraction of rabbit anti-Ep serum followed by treatment with goat anti-rabbit gamma-globulin re sulted in a significant decrease in EEC formation. Addition of anti-Ep directly to the culture medium produced similar results. In addition, the production of EEC in response to added Ep was inhibited in the presence of anti-Ep. Addition of very small doses of highly purified Ep to anti-Ep-treated cultures resulted in the reappearance of a significantnumber of EEC formation in PV may be due to a population of erythroid-committed precursors that are abnormally sensitive to small concentrations of Ep which may be present in fetal calf serum and citrated plasma. Although the mechanism of formation of these cells is not known, it appears that the final steps in the formation of red cells derived from this clone of precursors is subject to the usual Ep control.