A cytotoxic (IgG2b) monoclonal antibody (McAb) for a novel erythroid differentiation antigen was generated by hyperimmunizing young mice with mononuclear cells obtained from livers of 20- to 22-week-old fetuses. This McAb, designated SFL 23.6, shows an extremely well- defined reactivity with the cells of the erythroid lineage at all stages of maturation as evident from the labeling of morphologically identifiable erythroid precursors and of erythrocytes present in peripheral blood, bone marrow, and fetal liver, and from its reactivity with culture-derived erythroblasts. The nonerythroid cells present in these and other tissue preparations were not labeled by SFL 23.6. The erythroid lineage specificity of McAb SFL 23.6 was confirmed by a cell- sorting experiment in which 97% of the cells in the fluorescent fraction sorted from SFL 23.6-treated bone marrow cells were erythroid precursors at various stages of maturation. Complement-mediated cytotoxicity and progenitor cell-sorting experiments showed that most (greater than 90%) of the late erythroid progenitors (CFU-E) and only a small proportion of the early erythroid progenitors (BFU-E) express the antigenic determinant identified by SFL 23.6. The myeloid progenitors (CFU-GM) and multilineage progenitors (CFU-GEMM) were negative for the SFL 23.6 antigenic determinant. The antigen recognized by SFL 23.6 has not been determined as yet. Because of the pattern of its reactivity and its dependence on sialic acid residues, the possibility of its relationship to glycophoria A was entertained. However, previous work using antiglycophorin McAbs (R-10) has shown that this determinant is not expressed in CFU-E. Therefore, among the erythroid lineage-specific McAbs described thus far, SFL 23.6 is unique in its reactivity with CFU- E and the mature erythron. Reagents with such specificity may be useful in studies of erythroid differentiation and commitment.

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