Expansion of primitive human hematopoietic progenitors in a perfusion bioreactor system with IL-3, IL-6, and stem cell factor

Manfred R. Koller, James G. Bender, William M. Miller, Eleftherios T. Papoutsakis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Present methods for long-term hematopoietic culture (LTHC) employ a static culture environment which is not well-characterized. Primitive long-term culture-initiating cell (LTC-IC) numbers have been shown to decline in conventional static human LTHC, even with exogenous cytokine combinations. We have expanded human hematopoietic cells from umbilical cord blood on a preformed marrow stroma with synergistic cytokine combinations in a novel perfusion bioreactor system, which continuously maintained culture conditions within desired ranges. Interleukin-3 (IL-3) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in perfusion culture resulted in rapid 7-day expansion of granulocyte-macrophage colony forming units (CFU-GM, 11-fold), erythroid burst-forming units (BFU-E, 2.5-fold), and granulocyte-erythroid-macrophage colony forming units (CFU-Mix, 2.4-fold), compared to 6-fold, 1.4-fold, and no expansion, respectively, in static cultures. Addition of stem cell factor (SCF) to IL-3/IL-6 in static culture increased the extent of CFU-GM expansion (to 9-fold), but did not result in BFU-E or CFU-Mix expansion. In perfusion cultures with IL-3/IL-6/SCF, much greater expansions of CFU-GM (18-fold) and CFU-Mix (5.3-fold) were obtained. More importantly, expansion of LTC-IC (nearly 3-fold in two of three experiments) was only obtained with IL-3/IL-6/SCF and perfusion. The ability to expand hematopoietic cells while maintaining or expanding primitive progenitors has potential clinical applications in bone marrow transplantation and gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-363
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology


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