UNIT 22B.2 Characterization of Mouse Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells

  1. Cindy L. Miller1,
  2. Brad Dykstra2,
  3. Connie J. Eaves3

Published Online: 1 FEB 2008

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im22b02s80

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Miller, C. L., Dykstra, B. and Eaves, C. J. 2008. Characterization of Mouse Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells. Current Protocols in Immunology. 80:B:22B.2:22B.2.1–22B.2.31.

Author Information

  1. 1

    StemCell Technologies, Vancouver, British, Columbia

  2. 2

    University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

  3. 3

    Terry Fox Laboratory, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2008
  2. Published Print: FEB 2008


The unit describes functional assays for the quantification of mouse hematopoietic stem cells and progenitor cells. The competitive repopulating unit (CRU) assay detects transplantable mouse hematopoietic stem cells with the capacity to regenerate all of the blood cell lineages for extended time periods in vivo. The long-term culture-initiating cell (LTC-IC) assay, founded on the bone marrow long-term culture system, measures primitive hematopoietic progenitors based on their capacity to produce myeloid progeny for at least four weeks. Colony-forming cell (CFC) assays, performed in semisolid medium cultures to assess mouse pre-B, megakaryocyte, erythroid, granulocyte-monocyte, and multipotential hematopoietic progenitors are also described. These assays are powerful tools for evaluating human stem cell (HSC) and progenitor content in various hematopoietic tissues, during development as well as in the adult animal, and in cell populations manipulated ex vivo. Curr. Protoc. Immunol. 80:22B.2.1-22B.2.31. © 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • CRU assay;
  • competitive repopulating unit assay;
  • LTC-IC assay;
  • long-term culture-initiating cell assay;
  • CFC assay;
  • colony-forming cell assay;
  • methylcellulose-based medium;
  • collagen gels;
  • acetylcholinesterase staining;
  • hematopoietic stem cells