Lectin-induced increase in clonogenic growth of haematopoietic progenitor cells

Katalin Vehmeyer, Tibor Hajto, Katarina Hostanska, Stefan Könemann, Holger Löser, Reinhard Saller, Bernhard Wörmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


The galactoside-specific plant lectin, Viscum album agglutinin (VAA-I) increases cellular parameters of natural host defence. It also binds to a variety of haematopoietic cells, including progenitors. We investigated whether VAA-I has a stimulatory effect on haematopoietic progenitor cells. Peripheral blood progenitor cells from 7 healthy volunteers were cultured in a colony assay with VAA-I plus erythropoietin (EPO) and stem cell factor (SCF). At 50 pg/ml VAA-I induced a significant increase in the cytokine- dependent clonogenic growth (52% in median, p < 0.05). In another set of experiments purified CD34+ cells were isolated from the bone marrow aspirate of 4 patients with non-metastatic breast cancer using fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Binding to CD34+ cells was demonstrated by using directly fluorescence-conjugated VAA-I. Co-incubation with D-galactose significantly abrogated this effect. CD34+ cells were cultured in the presence of EPO, SCF, interleukin-3, granulocyte/monocyte colony-stimulating factor and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. VAA-I alone had no measurable effect on the clonogenic growth of the isolated cells. However, at concentrations of 100 and 250 pg/ml VAA-I increased the cytokine-dependent proliferation and differentiation of CD34+ cells by a median of 75 and 85%, respectively. The results show that VAA-I binds to haematopoietic progenitor cells and has a co-stimulatory effect on their proliferation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-20
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean journal of haematology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • CD34 cells
  • Colony-forming assay
  • Viscum album agglutinin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Lectin-induced increase in clonogenic growth of haematopoietic progenitor cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this