Changes in cell surface antigen expressions during proliferation and differentiation of human erythroid progenitors

N Okumura, K Tsuji and T Nakahata


Cell surface antigen expression during proliferation and differentiation of human erythroid progenitors was examined using a combination of sequential micromanipulations of paired daughter cells derived from erythroid burst-forming units (BFU-E) and immuno-staining with a panel of monoclonal antibodies. Single hematopoietic progenitors were identified in methylcellulose cultures containing human cord blood mononuclear cells and micromanipulated individually to secondary culture. Paired daughter cells, granddaughter cells, and subsequent generations, whose counterparts produced erythroid bursts, were stained with various cytochemical and immuno-alkaline phosphatase stainings. Most paired daughter cells of BFU-E immunostained positively with anti- platelet glycoprotein(GP) IIb, antiplatelet GPIIb/IIIa, anti-HLA-DR, and antitransferrin receptor antibodies. Acid phosphatase staining was also positive. Neither CD34 nor CD33 antigens were identified on the cells. CD36 and blood group A antigens were first identified on cells from aggregates containing 32 to 64 cells after 4 days of secondary culture and preceded the expression of glycophorin A and hemoglobin alpha. These results indicate that various cell surface antigens were sequentially expressed during the proliferation and differentiation of erythroid progenitors, and that our procedure may be useful for clarifying the morphologic and immunologic properties of hematopoietic stem cells.