The purification and characterization of fetal liver hematopoietic stem cells

Sean J. Morrison, Houman D. Hemmati, Antoni M. Wandycz, Irving L. Weissman

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465 Scopus citations


Thy-1(lo)Sca-1+Lin-Mac-1+CD4- cells have been isolated from the livers of C57BL-Thy-1.1 fetuses. This population appears to be an essentially pure population of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), in that injection of only six cells into lethally irradiated adult recipients yields a limit dilution frequency of donor cell-reconstituted mice. Sixty-seven to 77% of clones in this population exhibit long-term multilineage progenitor activity. This population appears to include all long-term multilineage reconstituting progenitors in the fetal liver. A high proportion of cells are in cycle, and the absolute number of cells in this population doubles daily in the fetal liver until 14.5 days postcoitum. At 15.5 days postcoitum, the frequency of this population falls dramatically. Long-term reconstituting HSC clones from the fetal liver give rise to higher levels of reconstitution in lethally irradiated mice than long-term reconstituting HSC from the bone marrow. The precise phenotypic and functional characteristics of HSC vary according to tissue and time during ontogeny.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10302-10306
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number22
StatePublished - Oct 24 1995

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