MethoCult™ GF M3534

Methylcellulose-based medium with recombinant cytokines (without erythropoietin [EPO]) for mouse myeloid progenitor cells

MethoCult™ GF M3534

Methylcellulose-based medium with recombinant cytokines (without erythropoietin [EPO]) for mouse myeloid progenitor cells

MethoCult™ GF M3534
100 mL
569 USD
Catalog # 03534

Methylcellulose-based medium with recombinant cytokines (without EPO) for mouse myeloid progenitor cells


MethoCult™ GF M3534 is optimized for the growth and enumeration of granulocyte-macrophage progenitor cells (CFU-GM, CFU-G, CFU-M) in colony-forming unit (CFU) assays of mouse bone marrow, spleen, peripheral blood, and fetal liver cells. MethoCult™ M3534 does not support the growth of erythroid progenitor cells (BFU-E and CFU-E) as it does not contain erythropoietin (EPO). This formulation is compatible with STEMvision™ software for automated colony counting of mouse bone marrow CFU assays.

Browse our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on performing the CFU assay.
• Methylcellulose in Iscove's MDM
• Fetal bovine serum
• Bovine serum albumin
• Recombinant human insulin
• Human transferrin (iron-saturated)
• 2-Mercaptoethanol
• Recombinant mouse stem cell factor (SCF)
• Recombinant mouse interleukin 3 (IL-3)
• Recombinant human interleukin 6 (IL-6)
• Supplements
Semi-Solid Media, Specialized Media
Cell Type
Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells
Cell Culture, Colony Assay, Functional Assay
Area of Interest
Drug Discovery and Toxicity Testing, Stem Cell Biology

Data Figures

Procedure Summary for Hematopoietic CFU Assays

Figure 1. Procedure Summary for Hematopoietic CFU Assays

Examples of Colonies Derived From Mouse Hematopoietic Progenitors

Figure 2. Examples of Colonies Derived From Mouse Hematopoietic Progenitors

Protocols and Documentation

Find supporting information and directions for use in the Product Information Sheet or explore additional protocols below.

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This product is designed for use in the following research area(s) as part of the highlighted workflow stage(s). Explore these workflows to learn more about the other products we offer to support each research area.

Resources and Publications

Frequently Asked Questions

Why use semi-solid media?

Semi-solid media (methylcellulose-based MethoCult™ and collagen-based MegaCult™-C) allow the clonal progeny of a single progenitor cell to remain spatially isolated from other colonies within a culture, so they may be separately identified and counted.

Why use methylcellulose-based media?

Methylcellulose permits better growth of erythroid colonies than other types of semi-solid support systems (eg. agar) while allowing optimal myeloid colony formation. When appropriate cytokines are present, committed progenitor cells of both erythroid and granulocyte/macrophage lineages (CFU-GM, CFU-G, CFU-M) as well as multi-potential progenitor cells (CFU-GEMM), can be assayed simultaneously in the same culture dish.

Is it necessary to add antibiotics to the media?

No, aseptic technique should be sufficient to maintain sterile cultures. However, antibiotics (eg. Penicillin/Streptomycin) or anti-fungals (eg. Amphotericin B) may be added to the methylcellulose medium if desired.

Is there anything I can do if my cultures appear contaminated?

No, once contamination is visible, it is not possible to rescue the cultures by the addition of antibiotics. Bacteria and yeast inhibit colony formation by depleting nutrients or by releasing toxic substances.

Why can't I use a pipette to dispense methylcellulose-based media?

Methylcellulose is a viscous solution that cannot be accurately dispensed using a pipette due to adherence of the medium to the walls of the pipette tip. Blunt-End, 16 Gauge needles (Catalog #28110), in combination with 3 cc Syringes (Catalog #28230) are recommended for accurate dispensing of MethoCult™.

Can I 'pluck' the colonies for individual analysis?

Yes, colonies can be 'plucked' using a pipette with 200 µL sterile pipette tips or using a glass Pasteur pipette with an elongated tip. Individual colonies should be placed in a volume of 25 - 50 µL of medium, and diluted into suitable culture medium for further culture or analysis.

Why are low adherence dishes so important?

Adherent cells such as fibroblasts can cause inhibition of colony growth and obscure visualization of colonies.

Can MethoCult™ products be used for lymphoid progenitor CFU assays?

Human lymphoid progenitors (B, NK and T) seem to require stromal support for growth therefore cannot be grown in MethoCult™. Mouse pre-B clonogenic progenitors can be grown in MethoCult™ M3630 (Catalog #03630).

Is it possible to set up CFU assays in a 24-well plate?

Yes, as long as a plating concentration optimized for the smaller surface area of a well in a 24-well plate (1.9 cm2 as compared to ~9.5 cm2 for a 35 mm dish) is used for these assays. The number of replicate wells required to get an accurate estimation of CFU numbers may also need to be increased.

Can I stain colonies in MethoCult™ medium?

The cells in individual colonies in MethoCult™ can be stained, eg., for analysis of morphology or phenotype, after they are plucked from the dish and washed free of methylcellulose. Colonies grown in collagen-based MegaCult™-C medium can be used for immunohistochemical or enzymatic staining in situ after dehydration and fixation onto glass slides.

Are there differences in colony morphology with serum-free media?

Serum-containing media generally give better overall growth (colonies may appear larger) but there are no large differences in total colony numbers when CFU assays using serum-free media and serum-containing media are compared, provided that identical cytokines are present.

Can MethoCult™ be made with alternate base media?

Yes, this can be done as a 'custom' media order. Please contact for more information.

Is there a MethoCult™ formulation suitable for HPP-CFC (high proliferative potential colony forming cell)?

Yes, MethoCult™ H4535 (Catalog #04535) can be used for the HPP-CFC assay as it does not contain EPO. The culture period is usually 28 days. It is not necessary to feed these cultures as growth factors in the medium are present in excess. As HPP-CFCs can be quite large, overplating can be a problem. It is recommended to plate cells at two or more different concentrations.

Publications (39)

Genomic subtyping and therapeutic targeting of acute erythroleukemia. I. Iacobucci et al. Nature genetics 2019


Acute erythroid leukemia (AEL) is a high-risk leukemia of poorly understood genetic basis, with controversy regarding diagnosis in the spectrum of myelodysplasia and myeloid leukemia. We compared genomic features of 159 childhood and adult AEL cases with non-AEL myeloid disorders and defined five age-related subgroups with distinct transcriptional profiles: adult, TP53 mutated; NPM1 mutated; KMT2A mutated/rearranged; adult, DDX41 mutated; and pediatric, NUP98 rearranged. Genomic features influenced outcome, with NPM1 mutations and HOXB9 overexpression being associated with a favorable prognosis and TP53, FLT3 or RB1 alterations associated with poor survival. Targetable signaling mutations were present in 45{\%} of cases and included recurrent mutations of ALK and NTRK1, the latter of which drives erythroid leukemogenesis sensitive to TRK inhibition. This genomic landscape of AEL provides the framework for accurate diagnosis and risk stratification of this disease, and the rationale for testing targeted therapies in this high-risk leukemia.
Gain-of-function mutations in granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor (CSF3R) reveal distinct mechanisms of CSF3R activation. H. Zhang et al. The Journal of biological chemistry 2018 MAY


Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF or CSF3) and its receptor CSF3R regulate granulopoiesis, neutrophil function, and hematopoietic stem cell mobilization. Recent studies have uncovered an oncogenic role of mutations in the CSF3R gene in many hematologic malignancies. To find additional CSF3R mutations that give rise to cell transformation, we performed a cellular transformation assay in which murine interleukin 3 (IL-3)-dependent Ba/F3 cells were transduced with WT CSF3R plasmid and screened for spontaneous growth in the absence of IL-3. Any outgrowth clones were sequenced to identify CSF3R mutations with transformation capacity. We identified several novel mutations and determined that they transform cells via four distinct mechanisms: 1) cysteine- and disulfide bond-mediated dimerization (S581C); 2) polar, noncharged amino acid substitution at the transmembrane helix dimer interface at residue Thr-640; 3) increased internalization by a Glu-524 substitution that mimics a low G-CSF dose; and 4) hydrophobic amino acid substitutions in the membrane-proximal residues Thr-612, Thr-615, and Thr-618. Furthermore, the change in signaling activation was related to an altered CSF3R localization. We also found that CSF3R-induced STAT3 and ERK activations require CSF3R internalization, whereas STAT5 activation occurred at the cell surface. Cumulatively, we have expanded the regions of the CSF3R extracellular and transmembrane domains in which missense mutations exhibit leukemogenic capacity and have further elucidated the mechanistic underpinnings that underlie altered CSF3R expression, dimerization, and signaling activation.
Prevention of bone marrow cell apoptosis and regulation of hematopoiesis by type I IFNs during systemic responses to pneumocystis lung infection. Taylor D et al. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 2011 MAY


We recently demonstrated that lack of type I IFN signaling (IFNAR knockout) in lymphocyte-deficient mice (IFrag(-/-)) results in bone marrow (BM) failure after Pneumocystis lung infection, whereas lymphocyte-deficient mice with intact IFNAR (RAG(-/-)) had normal hematopoiesis. In the current work, we performed studies to define further the mechanisms involved in the induction of BM failure in this system. BM chimera experiments revealed that IFNAR expression was required on BM-derived but not stroma-derived cells to prevent BM failure. Signals elicited after day 7 postinfection appeared critical in determining BM cell fate. We observed caspase-8- and caspase-9-mediated apoptotic cell death, beginning with neutrophils. Death of myeloid precursors was associated with secondary oxidative stress, and decreasing colony-forming activity in BM cell cultures. Treatment with N-acetylcysteine could slow the progression of, but not prevent, BM failure. Type I IFN signaling has previously been shown to expand the neutrophil life span and regulate the expression of some antiapoptotic factors. Quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated reduced mRNA abundance for the antiapoptotic factors BCL-2, IAP2, MCL-1, and others in BM cells from IFrag(-/-) compared with that in BM cells from RAG(-/-) mice at day 7. mRNA and protein for the proapoptotic cytokine TNF-α was increased, whereas mRNA for the growth factors G-CSF and GM-CSF was reduced. In vivo anti-TNF-α treatment improved precursor cell survival and activity in culture. Thus, we propose that lack of type I IFN signaling results in decreased resistance to inflammation-induced proapoptotic stressors and impaired replenishment by precursors after systemic responses to Pneumocystis lung infection. Our finding may have implications in understanding mechanisms underlying regenerative BM depression/failure during complex immune deficiencies such as AIDS.

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