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Studies on the early events in the differentiation of the nonspecific immune system require the identification and isolation of myeloid-committed progenitor cells. Using the monoclonal antibodies (mAb) ER-MP12 and ER-MP20, generated against immortalized macrophage precursors, we have shown previously that the earliest macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF)-responsive cells in the bone marrow have the ER-MP12hi 20- phenotype. In addition, we found that the ER-MP12hi 20- subset (comprising about 2 % of total nucleated marrow) contains progenitor cells of all hematopoietic lineages. Aiming at the identification and purification of the myeloid progenitor cells within the ER-MP12hi 20-subset, we used ER-MP58, a marker expressed at high level by all M-CSF-responsive bone marrow progenitors. With this marker the ER-MP12hi 20- cell population could be divided into three subfractions: one with absent or low level ER-MP58 expression, one with intermediate, and one with high ER-MP58 expression. These subfractions were isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and tested in vitro and in vivo for their differentiation capacities. In addition, the expression of ER-MP58 on stem cell subsets was examined in the cobblestone area-forming cell (CAFC) assay. Our data indicate that in the ER-MP12hi 20- subpopulation myeloid-committed progenitors are characterized by high-level expression of the ER-MP58 antigen, whereas cells with other or broader differentiation capacities have an ER-MP58 negative/low or intermediate phenotype. These myeloid-committed progenitors have no significant repopulating ability in vivo, in contrast to the ER-MP58 intermediate cells. Primitive CAFC-28/35, corresponding to cells providing long-term hematopoietic engraftment in vivo, also did not express the ER-MP58 Ag at a high level. Thus, cells committed to the myeloid lineage can be separated from progenitor cells with other differentiation capacities by means of multiparameter cell sorting using ER-MP58 in combination with ER-MP12 and ER-MP20.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Immunol

Publication Date





2850 - 2858


Animals, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antigens, CD, Bone Marrow, Bone Marrow Cells, Cell Differentiation, Female, Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor, Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Thymus Gland