Reverse haemolytic plaque assay
Human bone marrow
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Regulation of haemopoiesis is closely mediated by a number of growth factors in the marrow microenvironment. The identification of the cell type secreting these regulatory polypeptides is difficult due to the heterogeneity of bone marrow cells. To analyse the release of haemopoietic growth factors by normal human bone marrow cells at the single cell level, we employed the reverse haemolytic plaque assay (RHPA). Freshly isolated human marrow cells were examined for the release of interleukin-1α (IL-1α), IL-3, IL-6 and granulocyte-monocyte colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). In order to identify various cytokine-secreting cell types, the RHPA was combined with immunocytochemical or enzymatic staining. The total of secreting marrow cells as well as the amount of several secretory haemopoietic subpopulations could be determined with this technique under various conditions. Following incubation with pure serum-free medium without addition of any mediator, only few cells secreting either IL-1α, IL-3, IL-6 or GM-CSF could be observed. After 2 h incubation with recombinant human-IL-1α (rhIL-1α) (10.0 ng/ml) or rhGM-CSF (10.0 pg/ml) the number of cytokine-secreting cells significantly increased for all secretory products tested. Using cytochemical staining reactions, we were able to identify 55% of all cells secreting a specific cytokine. Glycophorin C-positive erythropoietic cells turned out to be the largest fraction (up to 89%) of cytokine-releasing haemopoietic cells, followed by neutrophil granulocytes (between 6 and 48%), and monocytes/macrophages (between 4 and 23%). Only few CD 61-positive cytokinesecreting megakaryocytes could be detected. Dose- and time-dependent kinetics after stimulation with rhGM-CSF revealed that the bulk of secretory activity originates from haemopoietic or rather from erythropoietic cells following low level stimulation and after short stimulation time. Thus, our data are in keeping with the assumption, that especially erythropoietic cells are producing a repertoire of cytokines that is thought to exhibit regulatory functions within marrow microenvironment. In the present study the RHPA is presented as an appropriate tool for measuring cytokine release not only of cells of the haematopoietic system but also of other tissues, for example solid tumours or malignant lymphomas.
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