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The characterization of early branch points in the differentiation of leukocytes requires identification of precursor cells in the bone marrow. Recently, we produced two monoclonal antibodies, ER-MP12 and ER-MP20, which in two-color flow-cytometric analysis divide the murine bone marrow into six defined subsets. Here we show, using fluorescence-activated cell sorting followed by macrophage colony-stimulating factor-stimulated culture in soft agar, that precursors of the mononuclear phagocyte system reside only within the ER-MP12hi20-, ER-MP12+20+ and ER-MP12-20hi bone marrow subsets. Together, these subsets comprise 15% of nucleated bone marrow cells. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the macrophage precursors present in these subsets represent successive stages in a maturation sequence where the most immature ER-MP12hi20- cells develop via the ER-MP12+20+ stage into ER-MP12-20hi monocytes.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Immunol

Publication Date





2279 - 2284


Animals, Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic, Bone Marrow Cells, Cell Differentiation, Female, Immunophenotyping, Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor, Macrophage-1 Antigen, Macrophages, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL