If the limited life span of hematopoietic tissues in vitro is due to a finite proliferative capacity of individual stem cells, one might expect tissues of young donors to possess a greater proliferative capacity and to contain a larger population of primitive stem cells than those of older donors. To test this hypothesis, we used 12- and 8-day spleen colony formation (CFU-s) to assay more and less primitive stem cell subpopulations of three murine hematopoietic tissues: fetal liver (FL) and weanling (WBM) and adult (ABM) bone marrow. Subsequently, the same assays and a stromal cell assay were performed on the bone marrow from groups of lethally irradiated mice reconstituted with these tissues. Comparison of the CFU-s content of the donor tissues revealed that FL contained a significantly greater proportion of primitive stem cells as evidenced by a (Day 12):(Day 8) CFU-s ratio of 3.0 ± 1.0 as compared to 0.9 ± 0.1 for WBM and ABM. In addition, at 21 weeks post-transplantation the CFU-s/femur values of the FL reconstituted group were significantly greater than those of the ABM and WBM reconstituted groups. These results suggest that fetal hematopoietic tissue contains a greater proportion of primitive stem cells and has a greater proliferative potential than hematopoietic tissue from older donors. No differences were seen in stromal cell reconstitution of the three experimental groups. In all cases, assayable fibroblast colony forming cells (CFU-f) remained at 20-40% of control values, even at 21 weeks postreconstitution.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging