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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

All-trans retinoic acid prevents apoptosis of human marrow CD34+ cells deprived of haematopoietic growth factors.

The regulation of apoptosis plays a key role in haematopoiesis. It has been demonstrated that haematopoietic progenitor cells progressively undergo apoptotic cell death in the absence of appropriate growth factors. We studied the effects of pharmacological doses of all-transretinoic acid (ATRA) on the apoptosis of human adult marrow CD34+ progenitor cells cultured for 7 d in a serum-free medium. We quantified CD34+ cells, clonogenic progenitors and 5 week colony-forming cells (CFC) before and after ATRA exposure. Moreover, we defined the apoptotic status of the CD34+ cell fraction by analysis of phosphatidylserine externalization (using annexin V), the relative membrane permeability to 7-aminoactinomycin D (7AAD) and the mitochondrial membrane potential [using 3,3'-dihexyloxacarbocyanine iodide, DiOC6(3)]. In the drastic experimental conditions used, a decrease in viable CD34+ cells, granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming units (CFU-GM), erythroid burst-forming units (BFU-E) and 5 week CFC were observed. Exposure to ATRA partially prevented the decrease in viable CD34+, without a concomitant effect on the clonogenic and more immature progenitors. ATRA-treated CD34+ cells displayed changes in apoptotic status compared with control cultures, particularly in lower annexin V-binding. These results were confirmed using 7AAD and DiOC6(3). Our results demonstrate that ATRA exerts a protective effect on CD34+ cells exposed to such apoptotic stress.[1]


  1. All-trans retinoic acid prevents apoptosis of human marrow CD34+ cells deprived of haematopoietic growth factors. Herault, O., Domenech, J., Georget, M.T., Clement, N., Colombat, P., Binet, C. Br. J. Haematol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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