Liver and spleen hematopoietic cell suspensions from 20-day-old-fetal rats were fractionated on Percoll gradients. A granulocyte-rich splenic fraction inhibited CFUe production by cultures of a CFUe-enriched liver fraction, and by cultures of unfractionated liver and spleen hematopoietic cells. Conditioned medium from the spleen cell fraction contained an inhibitor of relative molecular mass, Mr, 25–35 × 10(3). The sensitivity of spleen cells to the inhibitor varied with the age of the fetus from which they were derived (20-day-old less than 18-and 19-day-old). No such age-dependence was found for liver cells. The inhibitor affects cycling CFUe, blocks the lethal effect of AraC, does not appear to be lineage-specific and its influence can be reversed by washing.

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