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Haemopoietic cells isolated from the peripheral blood of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), have been extensively purified and enriched using either Percoll density gradients or Percoll density gradients combined with elutriation. The quantitative expression of the BI.3C5 associated antigen and the co-expression of BI.3C5 and HLA-DR antigens on these two populations has been studied using either single or simultaneous two colour FACS sorting, following by in-vitro culture for single and multilineage haemopoietic progenitors thus obtained. The data show that the CFU-GEMM are always found in the most strongly BI.3C5 positive fraction, irrespective of the separation procedure and that the bulk of the CFU-GEMM co-express BI.3C5 and HLA-DR. The cell types initiating these CFU-GEMM are morphologically immature blasts. The more mature cells of the myelomonocytic and erythroid lineages forming single lineage colony types show variable BI.3C5 expression, although most are HLA-DR positive. Such enriched populations of malignant progenitors could provide a useful source of material to study both gene expression and the molecular mechanisms underlying malignant transformation.

Original publication




Journal article


Leukemia research

Publication Date





961 - 971


Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Humans, Leukemia, Myeloid, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Histocompatibility Antigens Class II, HLA-DR Antigens, Flow Cytometry, Cell Separation