A male neonate with Down's syndrome and congenital myeloproliferative disorder was studied. His blood picture showed the unique coexistence of leukocytosis with matured cells and a large number of blast cells. The in vitro proliferation and differentiation of blast cells into various lineages in the presence of phytohemagglutinin-stimulated leukocyte conditioned medium (PHA-LCM) was examined by using a liquid culture and a methylcellulose culture system. The differentiation of blast cells into myeloid cells was confirmed by specific cytochemical stainings, electron microscopy, and an immunologic study. No specific factors in the plasma of the patient promoted the proliferation or differentiation of blast cells. The cellular composition of colonies grown in methylcellulose culture from single blast cells was studied by a micromanipulation technique. High plating efficiency was observed. Of 136 cultures, 78 showed colony growth. Half of the blast cells were colony-forming cells that could proliferate and differentiate into basophils, neutrophils, eosinophils, macrophages, and erythrocytes in the presence of PHA-LCM. Using the blast cells with a high differentiation capacity to the basophil pathway, we studied the effect of recombinant granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). Recombinant GM-CSF support neutrophils, eosinophils, and macrophages but not typical basophils. These findings of the cell differentiation of blast cells into various kinds of cells in vitro were in agreement with the finding of neutrophilia, eosinophilia, basophilia, and thrombocythemia in this patient.
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