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Erythropoietic Progenitor and Precursor Cells


Erythropoietic progenitor and precursor cells give rise to oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
Preferred Cell Systems™ has developed tools to detect and measure 3 different types of erythropoietic cells from different tissues and species.

Proliferating erythropoietic precursor cells are similar to the first morphologically identifiable erythroblasts or pronormoblasts. These were the first erythropoietic precursor cells to be detected in vitro. Using the traditional methylcellulose, colony-forming cell (CFC) or colony-forming unit (CFU) assay, these cells are designated Colony-Forming Unit - Erythroid or CFU-E and usually have very limited proliferation ability (about 5-6 divisions). The CFU-E require low levels of erythropoietin (EPO) to not only stimulate division of the cells, but also to maintain them.

More primitive in vitro progenitor cells have a considerable capacity for proliferation. In methylcellulose cultures, they can produce colonies containing bright red blood cells, an indication that the cells have hemoglobinized. These primitive erythropoietic progenitor cells, grown as colonies in methylcellulose, are called Burst-Forming Units - Erythroid or BFU-E. The ability of the BFU-E to differentiate and mature in culture allows the identity of the mature colonies to be identified. 

However, to measure BFU-E proliferation potential and ability, methylcellulose assays cannot be used. Instead, Preferred Cell Systems™ has developed in vitro, erythropoietic expansion reagents and assays that incorporate an advanced culture system called Suspension Expansion Culture™ (SEC™) Technology that allows proliferation and many aspects of the erythropoietic system to be analyzed. 

SEC™ Technology has been incorporated into the most advanced and, in many cases, standardized and validated, instrument-based systems available to detect the most primitive erythropoietic progenitor cells. These assays have also been designed so that they can be combined with other readouts, such for phenotypic identification by flow cytometry and genetic analysis to obtain as much information as possible from a single sample.

Preferred Cell Systems™ distinguishes between erythropoietic progenitor cells, cultured using SEC™ Technology, and those grown in methylcellulose. All erythropoietic progenitor cells using SEC™ technology are designed with the prefix "P" for "Progenitor".

In the table below, you will find all the erythropoietic populations developed by Preferred Cell Systems™ that can be detected using either a SEC™-based or a methylcellulose assay. These are:
  • CellExpand = Flexible readout of cell expansion
  • HALO = Bioluminescence readout with standardization included
  • HemoGLO™ = Bioluminescence readout with optional standardization
  • HemoFLUOR = Fluorescence readout
  • HemoLIGHT = Absorbance/colorimetric readout
  • ColonyGro & CAMEO-4 = Manual or automated colony counting
  • CAMEO-96 = Manual or automated colony counting following by bioluminescence measurement
The type of assay you choose is dependent upon a number of factors, that include, but are not limited to:
  • Use or application goal (research, cellular therapy or toxicity testing).
  • Whether you need to measure proliferation, differentiation or both. 
  • Cell type being detected.
  • Instrumentation available.
  • Other factors such as accuracy, sensitivity, precision etc.
Contact an expert at Preferred Cell Systems™ at (719) 264-6251 or info@preferred-cell-systems.com for help and assistance.  

 
SEC™
Erythropoietic
Progenitor
Use / Application SEC™
Assay / Reagent
CFC
Erythropoietic
Cell
CFC Assay Growth Factor Cocktail Primitiveness
/ Maturity
P-BFU 1 Research/
CellularTherapy
CellExpand
 
NA NA EPO, IL-3, SCF Stem cell induction into primitive erythropoietic
P-BFU 1 Research CellExpand
HALO
HemoGLO
HemoFLUOR
HemoLIGHT
 
BFU-E 1 ColonyGro
CAMEO-4
CAMEO-96
EPO, IL-3, SCF Stem cell induction into primitive erythropoietic
P-BFU 1 Cellular Therapy CellExpand
HALO TE
HemoGLO TE
HemoFLUOR TE
HemoLIGHT TE
HALO PMT
HemoGLO PMT
HemoFLUOR PMT
HemoLIGHT PMT
BFU-E 1 ColonyGro
CAMEO-4
CAMEO-96
EPO, IL-3, SCF Stem cell induction into primitive erythropoietic
P-BFU 1 In Vitro Toxicity HALO-Tox HT BFU-E 1 ColonyGro
CAMEO-4
CAMEO-96
EPO, IL-3, SCF Stem cell induction into primitive erythropoietic
P-BFU 2 Research CellExpand
HALO
HemoGLO
HemoFLUOR
HemoLIGHT
BFU-E 2 ColonyGro
CAMEO-4
EPO (high dose) Erythropoietic compartment stimulation
Pr-E Research NA CFU-E ColonyGro
CAMEO-4
EPO (low dose) Mature erythropoietic precursor
All populations Base growth medium HemoGro            

Comments
Note: Both BFU-E 1 and BFU-E 2 can be used to detect CFU-E

Abbreviations
NA = Not available
SEC™ = Suspension Expansion Culture™ Technology
P = Progenitor
Pr = Precursor
CFC = Colony-Forming Cell
IL-3 = Interleukin-3
EPO = Erythropoietin
SCF = Stem Cell Factor