Mouse stromal cell lines (FLS lines), established from the livers of 13-day gestation mouse fetus, supported the proliferation and differentiation of the erythroid progenitor cells from mouse fetal livers and bone marrow in a semisolid medium in the presence of erythropoietin. A large erythroid colony of over 1000 benzidine-positive erythroid cells was developed from a single erythroid progenitor cell on the FLS cell layer after 4 days of culture. When in close contact with the layer, the erythroid progenitor cells divided rapidly with an average generation time of 9.6 h and mature erythroid cells, including enucleated erythrocytes, were produced. The present studies demonstrate that the microenvironment created by the stromal cells can support the rapid expansion of erythropoietic cell population in the fetal liver of mice.

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