Rescue from apoptosis in early (CD34 selected) versus late (CD34 unselected) human hematopoietic cells by VLA-4 and VCAM-1 dependent adhesion to bone marrow stromal cells

Wen-jung Michael Wang, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The interaction of hematopoietic precursor cell with bone marrow stromal cells is assumed to be important to the survival of hematopoietic precursor cells during hematopoietic cell long-term culture. Early hematopoietic stem cells are preferentially found within the stromal adherent cell fraction in primary long-term bone marrow cultures. The purpose of this dissertation was to understand the molecular mechanisms that govern these interactions for the regulation of survival and proliferation of early versus late hematopoietic cells. Monoclonal antibodies to the VLA-4 recognize the alpha4 beta1 integrin receptor on human hematopoietic cells. This monoclonal antibody blocks the adhesion between early hematopoietic progenitor cells (CD34 selected cells) and stromal cells when added to cultures of these cells. Addition of the VLA-4 monoclonal antibody to cultures of stromal cells and CD34 selected cells was shown to induce apoptosis of CD34 selected cells in these CD34 selected cell/stromal cell cocultures, as measured by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end-labeling method. In contrast to these experiments with early hematopoietic progenitor cells (CD34+), the level of adhesion between more differentiated cells (unfractionated hematopoietic cells) and stromal cells was not significantly altered by addition of the anti-VLA-4 monoclonal antibody. Similarly, the level of apoptosis of unfractionated hematopoietic cells was not significantly increased by the addition of anti-VLA-4 monoclonal antibody to cultures of the latter cells with stromal cells. The binding of the unfractionated cells is less than that of the CD34 selected. Since there is no difference between the alpha4 beta1 integrin expression level of the early and late myeloid cells, there may be a difference in the functional state of the integrin between the early and late myeloid cells. We also show that CD34+ selected precursor cells proliferate at a higher rate when these cells are plated on recombinant VCAM-1 molecules. These data indicate that the alpha4beta1 integrin receptor (VLA-4) plays a central role in the apoptosis rescue function which results from the anchorage-dependent growth of the CD34 selected early hematopoietic cells on stromal cells. The data suggest that these apoptosis rescue pathways have less significance as the cells mature and become anchorage-independent in their growth. These data should assist in the design of systems for the ex vivo proliferation and transduction of early hematopoietic cells for genetic therapy.

Subject Area

Immunology|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Wang, Wen-jung Michael, "Rescue from apoptosis in early (CD34 selected) versus late (CD34 unselected) human hematopoietic cells by VLA-4 and VCAM-1 dependent adhesion to bone marrow stromal cells" (1997). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9717012.