The stem cell antigen CD34 functions as a regulator of haemopoietic cell adhesion.
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Although the CD34 antigen is widely used in the identification and purification of hemopoietic stem and progenitor cells, its function within hemopoiesis is unknown. We have investigated this issue by ectopically expressing human (hu) CD34 on the surface of murine hemopoietic cells. Forced expression of hu-CD34 in the thymocytes of transgenic mice did not appear to affect the development, maturation, or distribution of murine T cells but did significantly increase their ability to adhere to bone marrow stromal layers of human but not mouse origin. Ectopic expression of hu-CD34 on murine 416B cells, a multipotential progenitor that expresses murine CD34, yielded similar results. In both cases hu-CD34-dependent adhesion was enhanced by molecular engagement of the hu-CD34 protein using anti-CD34 antibodies. These results provide evidence that CD34 promotes the adhesive interactions of hemopoietic cells with the stromal microenvironment of the bone marrow thereby implicating CD34 in regulation and compartmentalization of stem cells. We propose that CD34 regulates these processes in part via an indirect mechanism, signaling changes in cellular adhesion in response to molecular recognition of an as yet unidentified stromal CD34 counterreceptor or ligand.
- Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
- Gene Expression
- Mice, Transgenic
- Cells, Cultured
- Cell Adhesion/*physiology
- 0 (Antigens, CD)
- 0 (Antigens, CD34)
- Antigens, CD/biosynthesis/genetics/physiology
- Antigens, CD34/biosynthesis/genetics/*physiology
- Hematopoietic Stem Cells/immunology/*physiology