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

Stem cell factor production by human marrow stromal fibroblasts.

To characterize the production of stem cell factor (SCF, the ligand for the c-kit receptor protein) and its regulation by inflammatory cytokines and glucocorticoids, primary marrow stromal fibroblasts were isolated from normal individuals and two patients with Diamond-Blackfan anemia. Unstimulated normal marrow stromal fibroblasts constitutively expressed a low level of SCF mRNA (9 +/- 2 copies/cell [mean +/- SEM]), continually secreted soluble SCF into the supernatant of 1- to 5-day-old cultures (0.16 +/- 0.02 to 0.73 +/- 0.04 ng/mL per 10(6) cells, respectively), and expressed membrane-bound SCF. Stimulation with interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) only modestly increased SCF mRNA levels, soluble SCF production at 24 hours, and membrane-bound SCF. In comparison, hydrocortisone or tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) exposure increased SCF mRNA levels 3.5- to four-fold above controls, but with different kinetics. The peak TNF-alpha effect was at 6 hours, with return to near control levels at 24 hours, whereas hydrocortisone induced maximal mRNA increases at 12 to 18 hours, and the levels remained high at 24 hours. Similarly, a sustained increase in soluble SCF production was detected during 1 to 5 days of hydrocortisone exposure (0.27 +/- 0.03 to 1.10 +/- 0.08 ng/mL per 10(6) cells), while TNF-alpha stimulation modestly increased the production of soluble SCF in 24-hour cultures only. Unstimulated normal marrow fibroblasts expressed predominantly the long species of alternatively spliced SCF mRNA, and the relative amounts of long and short mRNAs did not change after stimulation with IL-1 beta, hydrocortisone, or TNF-alpha. SCF production by marrow stromal fibroblasts from a symptomatic patient with Diamond-Blackfan anemia was equivalent to simultaneously studied normal marrow fibroblasts. In contrast, marrow fibroblasts from a Diamond-Blackfan anemia patient in untreated hematologic remission constitutively expressed high levels of SCF mRNA (21 +/- 4 copies/cell) and soluble protein (0.40 ng/mL per 10(6) cells at 24 hours). Together, these observations suggest that SCF is constitutively produced by fibroblasts in the human marrow microenvironment and that hydrocortisone induces a modest but sustained increase in SCF gene expression and protein production, compared to only a transient increase induced by TNF-alpha. In addition, these findings support the hypothesis that endogenous or corticosteroid-induced increases in the production of SCF could play a physiologic role in the clinical improvement of congenital anemia.[1]


  1. Stem cell factor production by human marrow stromal fibroblasts. Linenberger, M.L., Jacobson, F.W., Bennett, L.G., Broudy, V.C., Martin, F.H., Abkowitz, J.L. Exp. Hematol. (1995) [Pubmed]
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