Monoclonal antibody BA-1 binds to B lymphocytes, to cells from most cases of non-T acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and weakly to neutrophils. To determine whether BA-1 also reacts with hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPC), we studied the effect of removal of BA-1+ cells from human bone marrow on the proliferation in vitro of the trilineage precursor cell CFU-GEMM, and on the committed progenitor cells of granulopoiesis (CFU-C) and erythropoiesis (BFU-E/CFU-E). Complement- mediated cytotoxicity using BA-1 at concentrations far beyond those required to lyse BA-1+ bone marrow cells and ALL cells did not result in inhibition of colony formation in any of the assays. A rosette separation method, using ox red blood cells coated with BA-1, resulted in enrichment of HPC in the BA-1-depleted interface, whereas very few HPC were found in the BA-1-enriched pellet. Both methods indicate that BA-1 does not bind to HPC, although binding of the antibody to the lymphohematopoietic stem cell cannot be excluded yet. The high cytotoxic capacity of the IgM antibody BA-1, and the lack of reactivity with HPC, make the antibody particularly suitable for use in autologous bone marrow transplantation for patients with ALL.

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