Bone marrow cells adopt the phenotype of other cells by spontaneous cell fusion

Naohiro Terada, Takashi Hamazaki, Masahiro Oka, Masanori Hoki, Diana M. Mastalerz, Yuka Nakano, Edwin M. Meyer, Laurence Morel, Bryon E. Petersen, Edward W. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1764 Scopus citations


Recent studies have demonstrated that transplanted bone marrow cells can turn into unexpected lineages including myocytes, hepatocytes, neurons and many others. A potential problem, however, is that reports discussing such 'transdifferentiation' in vivo tend to conclude donor origin of transdifferentiated cells on the basis of the existence of donor-specific genes such as Y-chromosome markers. Here we demonstrate that mouse bone marrow cells can fuse spontaneously with embryonic stem cells in culture in vitro that contains interleukin-3. Moreover, spontaneously fused bone marrow cells can subsequently adopt the phenotype of the recipient cells, which, without detailed genetic analysis, might be interpreted as 'dedifferentiation' or transdifferentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-545
Number of pages4
Issue number6880
StatePublished - Apr 4 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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