Basic fibroblast growth factor and epidermal growth factor downmodulate the growth of hematopoietic cells in long‐term stromal cultures

Douglas C. Dooley, Barbara K. Oppenlander, Pam Spurgin, Jay H. Mead, F. Patrick Novak, Michael Plunkett, Jay Beckstead, Michael C. Heinrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The bone marrow microenvironment consists of stromal cells and extracellular matrix components which act in concert to regulate the growth and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells. There is little understanding of the mechanisms which modulate the regulatory role of stromal cells. This study examined the hypothesis that mesenchymal growth factors such as basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) modulate stromal cell activities and thereby influence the course of hematopoiesis. Both bFGF and EGF were potent mitogens for marrow stroma. However, both factors proved to be inhibitory to hematopoiesis in primary log‐term marrow cultures. Inhibition was also observed when hematopoietic cells and bFGF or EGF were added to subconfluent irradiated stromal layers, demonstrating that the decline of hematopoiesis was not due to overgrowth of the stromal layer. Loss of hematopoietic support in bFGF and EGF was dose‐dependent. Removal of bFGF and EGF permitted stromal layers to regain their normal capacity to support hematopoiesis. In stroma‐free long‐term cultures, neither factor affected CFU‐GM expansion. Basic FGF slightly enhanced granulocyte‐macrophage colony forming unit (CFU‐GM) cloning efficiency in short‐term agarose culture. Basic FGF did not reduce the levels of interleukin‐6 (IL‐6), GM‐CSF, or G‐CSF released by steady state or IL‐1‐stimulated stroma. Similarly, the constitutive levels of steel factor (SF) mRNA and protein were not affected by bFGF. Basic FGF did not alter the level of TGF‐β1 in stromal cultures. We conclude that bFGF and EGF can act as indirect negative modulators of hematopoietic growth in stromal cultures. The actual mediators of regulation, whether bound or soluble, remain to be identified. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-397
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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