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Characteristics of haemopoietic progenitor cells related to CD34 epitope class expression

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Abstract: Haemopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) express the CD34 molecule, a heavily glycosylated transmembrane protein displaying three main classes of epitopes. The CD34 epitope class expression may vary between different subsets of HPCs. The aim of this study was to characterise the subsets of HPCs expressing CD34 class II and III epitopes. The cells were studied for coexpression of activation‐, lineage‐ and adhesion‐associated molecules, and their clonogenic ability and morphological features were examined.

CD34+ HPCs expressing class III epitopes outnumbered those expressing class II. Class III expressing HPCs were enriched for CFU‐GM and BFU‐E and cells coexpressing CD13, CD33, c‐kit and CD71 compared to class II expressing HPCs. CD34+ cells exclusively expressing class III epitopes uniformly displayed CD13 and CD33; they had a high clonogenic capacity and morphological characteristics of promyelocytes and myelocytes.

The data show that class III epitopes are distributed more broadly on CD34+ HPCs than are class II epitopes, and that lack of class II epitopes is confined to CD34+ HPCs at a late stage of myeloid differentiation. The higher number of class III expressing HPCs coexpressing c‐kit and CD71 suggests that these cells exhibit a higher proliferative or differential potential than do HPCs expressing class II epitopes.
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Keywords: CD34; CD34 epitopes; CD34 monoclonal antibodies; Haemopoietic progenitor cells

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Transplantation Immunology and 2: Medical Department A, The National Hospital, University of Oslo, Norway.

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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