Sakashita K, Kato I, Daifu T, Saida S, Hiramatsu H, Nishinaka Y, Ebihara Y, Ma F, Matsuda K, Saito S, Hirabayashi K, Kurata T, Uyen LT, Nakazawa Y, Tsuji K, Heike T, Nakahata T, Koike K.
Using serum-containing culture, we examined whether AGM-S3 stromal cells, alone or in combination with hematopoietic growth factor(s), stimulated the proliferation of CD34(+) cells from patients with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML). AGM-S3 cells in concert with stem cell factor plus thrombopoietin increased the numbers of peripheral blood CD34(+) cells to approximately 20-fold of the input value after 2 weeks in nine JMML patients with either PTPN11 mutations or RAS mutations, who received allogeneic hematopoietic transplantation. Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) also augmented the proliferation of JMML CD34(+) cells on AGM-S3 cells. The expansion potential of CD34(+) cells was markedly low in four patients who achieved spontaneous hematological improvement. A large proportion of day-14-cultured CD34(+) cells were negative for CD38 and cryopreservable. Cultured JMML CD34(+)CD38(-) cells expressed CD117, CD116, c-mpl, CD123, CD90, but not CXCR4, and formed GM and erythroid colonies. Day-7-cultured CD34(+) cells from two of three JMML patients injected intrafemorally into immunodeficient mice stimulated with human GM-CSF after transplantation displayed significant hematopoietic reconstitution. The abilities of OP9 cells and MS-5 cells were one-third and one-tenth, respectively, of the value obtained with AGM-S3 cells. Our culture system may provide a useful tool for elucidating leukemogenesis and for therapeutic approaches in JMML.