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Multipotential progenitor and stem cells occur with a low frequency in haemopoietic tissue. As a result, it is often difficult to obtain sufficient numbers of cells to undertake many of the assays that would be informative about the molecular events involved in the regulation of lineage-affiliated genes within these multipotent cells. To circumvent this problem, we have used the myeloproliferative leukaemia virus (MPLV) to generate a phenotypically diverse array of haemopoietic progenitors from adult mouse bone marrow and embryonic blood. These cells could be expanded to perform a variety of analyses that would not previously have been possible using analogous primary cells. The validity of these assays was supported by the observation that the phenotype of several MPLV-infected lines was very similar to previously described primary haemopoietic progenitor cells. By using mice transgenic for the human alpha and beta globin gene clusters, we have shown that human genes may also be investigated. In addition, this strategy has a wide potential applicability including the rescue of haemopoietic progenitors from mouse embryos lacking genes critical for their survival as well as the study of any haemopoietic gene for which an appropriate transgenic mouse is available.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date





33 - 48


Animals, Cell Lineage, Clone Cells, Globins, Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Human T-lymphotropic virus 1, Humans, Leukemia Virus, Murine, Megakaryocytes, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Inbred CBA, Ribonucleases, Tumor Cells, Cultured