Phenotypic analysis of CD34 subpopulations in normal human bone marrow and its application for the detection of minimal residual disease.Leukemia. 1995 Nov; 9(11):1896-901.L
In the past, studies on CD34+ cells have been based on the use of monoclonal antibodies conjugated with different fluorochromes that show different fluorescence intensity and yield variable results. Moreover, most of these studies have neither specifically focused on adult human BM samples nor have they used combinations to explore specifically the phenotype of myeloid committed CD34+ cells. The aim of the present study has been to characterize the normal human CD34+ precursor cells from adult BM in order to identify missing or extremely rare phenotypes that can be used for detecting minimal residual disease (MRD) in patients with AML. For this purpose we have utilized the fluorochrome conjugates that provide the most sensitive signals for identifying low antigenic expression, and the technique has been adapted to the characterization of cells present at very low frequencies. Normal human BM samples from 13 adult healthy volunteers have been analyzed using triple stainings at flow cytometry. The mean percentage of CD34+ cells detected was 0.72 +/- 0.33%; these cells displayed an heterogeneous light-scatter distribution. Most CD34+ cells coexpressed CD38 (96.7 +/- 5.7%), HLADR (81.6 +/- 14.0%), CD33 (84.7 +/- 18.3%), CD13 (84.6 +/- 16.2%) and CD71 antigens (65.5 +/- 9.1%). In addition, almost half of CD34+ cells were CD117+ (60 +/- 26.8%). Only a small proportion of CD34+ cells coexpressed CD4 (15.5 +/- 11.7%, CD36 (31.7 +/- 6.2%), CD61 (16.3 +/- 12.9%), CD41 (6.5 +/- 5.5%) or the lymphoid associated markers CD10 (18.6 +/- 11.8%) and CD19 (12.3 +/- 13.2%). Reactivity for the CD15 antigen was observed in a small population of CD34+HLADR+ cells (11.6 +/- 11.2%) although its intensity of expression was lower than that of the more mature granulocytic cells. No CD34+ cells displayed CD14, CD65, CD20, strong CD22, CD3 and CD56 antigens. Accordingly, most adult bone marrow CD34+ cells appeared to be committed to the myeloid lineage (CD13+/CD33+) and displayed an intermediate-to-large FSC/SSC while the lymphoid-committed CD34+ cells (CD19+, CD10+) were in a minority with low FSC/SSC values. By triple marker stainings several phenotypes of CD34+ precursor cells were found to be either undetectable or present at very low frequencies (< 1 x 10(-3)) in the normal human adult bone marrow. These data may be of great value for defining leukemia 'associated' phenotypes used to detect minimal residual disease in adult acute leukemia patients.