The AC133 antigen is a novel antigen selectively expressed on a subset of CD34+ cells in human fetal liver, bone marrow, and blood as demonstrated by flow cytometric analyses. In this study, we have further assessed the expression of AC133 on CD34+ cells in hemopoietic samples and found that there was a highly significant difference between normal bone marrow and cord blood versus aphereses (p <0.0001) but not between bone marrow and cord blood. Most of the clonogenic cells (67%) were contained in the CD34+AC133+ fraction. Compared with cultures of the CD34+AC133- cells, generation of progenitor cells in long-term culture on bone marrow stroma was consistently 10- to 100-fold higher in cultures initiated with CD34+AC133+ cells and was maintained for the 8-10 weeks of culture.
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