Evidence of peripheral blood-derived, plastic-adherent CD34 (- /low)hematopoietic stem cell clones with mesenchymal stem cell characteristics

Ralf Huss, Claudia Lange, Eva M. Weissinger, Hans Jochem Kolb, Karin Thalmeier

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123 Scopus citations


The hematopoietic system of vertebrates can be completely reconstituted with hematopoietic stem cells derived from the bone marrow, fetal liver, or cord blood, or even from peripheral-blood-derived cells. A cellular marker to identify those cells is the proteoglycan CD34, although we have shown that the earliest identifiable hematopoietic stem cell is a CD34- fibroblast-like cell which can differentiate into CD34+ hematopoietic precursors. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from the heparinized blood of a dog and incubated in tissue culture in the presence of interleukin 6. After 10-14 days, an adherent layer of fibroblast-like cells had developed and cells were immortalized using the SV-40 large T antigen. Cells were cloned and subcloned by measures of limiting dilution, and various fibroblast-like clones were established. These fibroblast-like cells either do not express the CD34 antigen or express CD34 on a low level, although transcribing CD34. The CD34(-/low) cells express osteocalcin as a mesenchymal cell marker. The fibroblast-like cells eventually differentiate spontaneously in vitro into CD34+ precursors and show colony formation. Prior to autologous stem cell transplantation, one clone of choice (IIIG7) was transfected with a retroviral construct containing the green-fluorescence protein (GFP). The recipient dog was totally irradiated with 300 cGy and received a stem cell transplant with GFP-containing, immortalized, fibroblast-like monoclonal autologous stem cells (0.5 x 108/kg dog). No additional growth factors were applied. The peripheral blood counts recovered after 23 days (WBC >500; platelets >10,000). A peripheral blood smear showed some dim but definite, although timely, limited expression of the GFP protein in nucleated peripheral blood cells just five weeks after transplantation. A bone marrow biopsy showed GFP-positive cells in the marrow cavity predominantly as 'bone- lining cells'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-260
Number of pages9
JournalStem Cells
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • CD34
  • Fibroblast-like canine cells
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Mesenchymal stem cell


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