Effects of recombinant human H-subunit and L-subunit ferritins on in vitro growth of human granulocyte-monocyte progenitors

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We have studied the influence of purified recombinant human H-subunit (rHF, acidic) and L-subunit (rLF, basic) ferritins on in vitro colony formation by normal human granulocyte-macrophage progenitor cells (CFU-GM). Whereas rLF had no significant effect, rHF produced significant decrease in colony formation: mean inhibition of CFU-GM was 38% ± 13% at 10-8 M and 22% ± 13% at 10-9 M. The inhibitory activity of rHF was lost at 10-10 M, and was inactivated with a monoclonal antibody recognizing the H subunit, but not with a monoclonal antibody recognizing the L subunit. Although H-type isoferritins were found in normal and leukaemic cells, their concentration in peripheral blood plasma and bone marrow plasma from normal subjects and patients with different haematological disorders including acute leukaemia were 10-11 M or lower, i.e. levels showing no activity in vitro. We conclude that: (i) acidic H-subunit-rich isoferritins have inhibitory effects on in vitro growth of granulocyte-macrophage progenitors; (ii) levels of these isoferritins in peripheral blood and bone marrow plasma are 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than the effective concentrations in vitro, indicating that these molecules do not behave as circulating regulatory or suppressive factors in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-372
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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