Published May 1, 1983 - More info
To investigate serum requirements for optimal erythropoiesis in vitro, we studied the response of erythroid progenitor cell proliferation in culture to platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). Human bone marrow cells cultured with platelet-poor plasma-derived serum (PDS) form fewer erythroid colonies than do cells cultured with human whole blood serum or fetal calf serum (P less than 0.05). Treatment of washed platelets with thrombin releases a low molecular weight (less than 100,000) factor that enhances colony growth. This secreted factor appears to be PDGF, based upon the ability of partially purified and electrophoretically pure PDGF to restore colony-forming capacity of PDS-containing cultures to 70-96% of the level found in control cultures with whole blood serum or fetal calf serum. Enhancement of colony growth by PDGF was noted only in marrow cultures supplemented with erythropoietin and PDS. Presence of bioactive erythropoietin in PDGF preparations was excluded by assay in hypertransfused, polycythemic mice, and in fasted rats. Although PDGF stimulates erythroid burst formation in marrow cultures containing optimal concentrations of burst-promoting activity (BPA), it does not influence proliferation of circulating erythroid bursts, regardless of BPA concentration added to culture. We conclude that PDGF is a serum determinant of optimal erythroid progenitor cell proliferation in marrow culture. The activity of PDGF is distinct from that of the apparent erythroid specific growth factors erythropoietin and BPA.