Transforming growth factor-beta potently inhibits the viability-promoting activity of stem cell factor and other cytokines and induces apoptosis of primitive murine hematopoietic progenitor cells.
Jacobsen FW., Stokke T., Jacobsen SE.
In contrast with the extensively characterized effects of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) on proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic progenitors, little is known about the effects of TGF-beta on viability of normal hematopoietic progenitors. In the present report, we demonstrate that TGF-beta potently counteracts hematopoietic growth factor (HGF)-induced survival of individually cultured primitive Lin-Sca-1+ bone marrow progenitors. Specifically, 74% of single Lin-Sca-1+ cells cultured for 40 hours in the presence of stem cell factor (SCF) survived, whereas only 16% survived in the presence of SCF plus TGF-beta. Similarly, the enhanced survival of primitive hematopoietic progenitors in response to granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, or IL-11 was also potently opposed by TGF-beta. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that neutralization of endogenous TGF-beta present in the cultures enhances survival of Lin-Sca-1+ progenitors in the absence, as well as in the presence, of HGFs such as SCF and IL-6. The reduced HGF-induced survival of primitive hematopoietic progenitors in the presence of TGF-beta was associated with increased apoptosis, as detected by an in situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) assay. After 16 hours of incubation in the absence of HGFs, 61% +/- 6% of the hematopoietic progenitors had DNA strand breaks characteristic of apoptosis. The presence of SCF reduced the frequency of apoptic cells to 27% +/- 5%, whereas 55% +/- 3% of the cells had signs of apoptosis in the presence of SCF plus TGF-beta.