Effect of chemotherapy and irradiation on interactions between stromal and hemopoietic cells in vitro

G. I. Cohen, J. S. Greenberger, G. P. Canellos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We examined the interactions between stromal and hemopoietic cells in mouse long-term bone marrow cultures. The adherent stroma is formed by several layers of cells consisting of macrophage, fibroblasts, and adventitial cells which accumulate lipid to become adipocytes. Stromal cells become closely apposed to loosely adherent hemopoietic cells but gap junctions occur only among cells in the adherent layer. The hemopoietic cells form tightly packed structures resembling cobblestones which contain granulocytes in all stages of differentiation. Using an in vitro model for bone marrow transplantation (BMT), we treated pure mouse stromal cell cultures with irradiation (1000 R) or chemotherapy (BCNU) prior to engraftment with hemopoietic stem cells. After two weeks, engrafted cultures were indistinguishable from the long-term bone marrow cultures previously described by Dexter. The adipocytes in irradiated cultures developed numerous submembrane pinocytotic vesicles but stromal-hemopoietic cell interactions remained unchanged compared to unirradiated controls. By contrast, granulocytes grafted onto chemotherapy treated stroma showed swelling of endoplasmic reticulum suggesting early toxic injury. These findings are consistent with functional studies of hemopoiesis after engraftment onto treated stroma and confirm an important role for stromal cells in the support of hemopoiesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-365
Number of pages7
JournalScanning Electron Microscopy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biophysics

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