CD7+CD34+ lymphohematopoietic progenitor cells in bone marrow are capable of differentiating into either lymphocytes or myeloid cells. The mechanism whereby these bipotent progenitor cells are regulated is not yet clear. In this study, we investigated the role CD7 may play in the development of bipotent cells using two myeloid progenitor cell lines, KG-1 and KG-1a, as models for such cells. Our data showed that cross-linking CD7 on KG-1 and KG-1a cells induced transcription, translation, and secretion of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). Anti-CD7 antibody also augmented the colony formation by KG-1 cells. Protein synthesis in KG-1 cells also increased as a result of anti-CD7 stimulation. These phenomena could be blocked by anti-GM-CSF, and supported the notion that the secreted GM-CSF was the primary mediator of CD7 effects. Together, these findings suggest that the interaction between CD7 and its putative ligand may play an important role in hematopoietic development.

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