Some mouse myeloid leukemias induced by X-irradiation and serially transplanted into syngenic mice do not proliferate in vitro even in the presence of hematopoietic factors. To examine whether such leukemic cells can proliferate in response to stromal cells, we cocultured them with MC3T3-G2/PA6 (PA6) preadipocytes, cells that can support the growth of hematopoietic stem cells. All leukemias developed into in vitro cell lines, showing a dependence on contact with the PA6 cells. Two cell lines responded to none of the known hematopoietic factors including interleukin-3 (IL-3), IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, GM-CSF, G-CSF, M-CSF, and Epo. These results demonstrate that the mechanism of the action of PA6 cells is different from that of any of the known hematopoietic factors, and that, because these two leukemic cell lines retained the ability to grow in vivo, responsiveness to the known hematopoietic factors is not essential for the leukemic cell growth in vivo. Furthermore, all leukemic cell lines could respond also to the preadipocytes fixed with formalin, paraformaldehyde, or glutaraldehyde, suggesting that some molecule(s) associated with the surface of PA6 cells or with extracellular matrix secreted by the preadipocytes is responsible for the leukemic cell growth.

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