Suspensions of human bone marrow cells were subjected to 137Cs irradiation in vitro and then cultured in semisolid agar medium. Cultures of irradiated cells were stimulated with colony-stimulating activity (CSA) of different potencies, and it was found that the amount of stimulation applied to cultures influenced the apparent kill of colony-forming cells (CFC). It was also found that the effects of irradiation on colony formation were not confined to CFC kill since medium conditioned by cells during irradiation exhibited stimulatory and inhibitory properties after treatment by 600 and 1000 rads, respectively. Studies in which irradiated cells were pretreated with hydroxyurea indicated that CFC in the DNA synthetic phase of the cell cycle were particularly sensitive to low doses of irradiation. The proliferative capacity of CFC surviving 1000 rads was undiminished as judged by their ability to form large colonies. Estimates of CFC kill by hydroxyurea were also affected by the level of CSA.

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