The hematopoietic sequelae of intramuscular administration of flt-3 ligand (FL) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) alone, or in combination, were compared in BALB/c mice. Changes in hematopoiesis were measured in the marrow, spleen and blood using an in vitro colony-forming unit (CFU) assay and flow cytometrically (expression of CD34 and stem cell antigen (Sca)-1). FL administration was associated with a significant increase in the absolute number of CFU and CD34+ cells in the marrow and CFU, CD34+, Sca-1+, and CD34+ Sca-1+ cells in the spleen and blood. These data demonstrate that FL expands and mobilizes a range of hematopoietic progenitors. By comparison, GM-CSF administration was associated with a significant increase in the number of CFU in the spleen and a significant reduction in marrow CD34+, Sca-1+, and CD34+Sca-1+ cells. These data suggest that GM-CSF-driven expansion of CFU may be at the expense of more primitive cells. The pattern of progenitor cell expansion associated with FL + GM-CSF administration was similar to that of FL alone with the following exceptions. The numbers of spleen and blood CFU were significantly greater and the number of marrow CD34+Sca-1+ cells were significantly less, than with FL alone. These data suggest that co-administration of these cytokines may combine the expansion of the more primitive cell populations (associated with FL) with the expansion of the more mature CFU population (associated with GM-CSF) to yield a greater overall CFU expansion and elevation of CFU in the blood. However, increasing the expansion and mobilization of the relatively mature, rather than the more primitive, hematopoietic progenitors, may be of limited value as a mobilization strategy, if the goal is the expansion and isolation of increased numbers of 'high-quality,' primitive cells for transplantation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas