MethoCult™ M3134

Base methylcellulose medium for mouse cells

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MethoCult™ M3134

Base methylcellulose medium for mouse cells

40 mL
Catalog #03134
87 USD


MethoCult™ M3134 is an incomplete medium that contains 2.6% methylcellulose in Iscove's MDM. MethoCult™ M3134 is suitable for the growth and enumeration of hematopoietic progenitor cells in colony-forming unit (CFU) assays of mouse bone marrow, spleen, peripheral blood, and fetal liver, when the appropriate growth factors and supplements are added. This formulation does not contain serum or cytokines.

Browse our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on performing the CFU assay.
• 2.6% Methylcellulose
• Iscove’s MDM
Semi-Solid Media; Specialized Media
Cell Type:
Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells
Cell Culture; Colony Assay; Functional Assay
Area of Interest:
Stem Cell Biology

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Product Documentation

Educational Materials


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.
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Product Applications

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.

Data and Publications


Blood 2010 DEC

Lyn- and PLC-beta3-dependent regulation of SHP-1 phosphorylation controls Stat5 activity and myelomonocytic leukemia-like disease.

Xiao W et al.


Hyperactivation of the transcription factor Stat5 leads to various leukemias. Stat5 activity is regulated by the protein phosphatase SHP-1 in a phospholipase C (PLC)-β3-dependent manner. Thus, PLC-β3-deficient mice develop myeloproliferative neoplasm, like Lyn (Src family kinase)- deficient mice. Here we show that Lyn/PLC-β3 doubly deficient lyn(-/-);PLC-β3(-/-) mice develop a Stat5-dependent, fatal myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm, similar to human chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). In hematopoietic stem cells of lyn(-/-);PLC-β3(-/-) mice that cause the CMML-like disease, phosphorylation of SHP-1 at Tyr(536) and Tyr(564) is abrogated, resulting in reduced phosphatase activity and constitutive activation of Stat5. Furthermore, SHP-1 phosphorylation at Tyr(564) by Lyn is indispensable for maximal phosphatase activity and for suppression of the CMML-like disease in these mice. On the other hand, Tyr(536) in SHP-1 can be phosphorylated by Lyn and another kinase(s) and is necessary for efficient interaction with Stat5. Therefore, we identify a novel Lyn/PLC-β3-mediated regulatory mechanism of SHP-1 and Stat5 activities.
Blood 2009 MAY

Nf1 haploinsufficiency and Icsbp deficiency synergize in the development of leukemias.

Koenigsmann J et al.


Loss of neurofibromin or interferon consensus sequence binding protein (Icsbp) leads to a myeloproliferative disorder. Transcription of NF1 is directly controlled by ICSBP. It has been postulated that loss of NF1 expression resulting from loss of transcriptional activation by ICSBP contributes to human hematologic malignancies. To investigate the functional cooperation of these 2 proteins, we have established Icsbp-deficient mice with Nf1 haploinsufficiency. We here demonstrate that loss of Icsbp and Nf1 haploinsufficiency synergize to induce a forced myeloproliferation in Icsbp-deficient mice because of an expansion of a mature myeloid progenitor cell. Furthermore, Nf1 haploinsufficiency and loss of Icsbp contribute synergistically to progression of the myeloproliferative disorder toward transplantable leukemias. Leukemias are characterized by distinct phenotypes, which correlate with progressive genetic abnormalities. Loss of Nf1 heterozygosity is not mandatory for disease progression, but its occurrence with other genetic abnormalities indicates progressive genetic alterations in a defined subset of leukemias. These data show that loss of the 2 tumor suppressor genes Nf1 and Icsbp synergize in the induction of leukemias.
The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics 2009 FEB

Anti-Ccl2 Spiegelmer permits 75% dose reduction of cyclophosphamide to control diffuse proliferative lupus nephritis and pneumonitis in MRL-Fas(lpr) mice.

Kulkarni O et al.


Cyclophosphamide (CYC) can control diffuse proliferative lupus nephritis (DPLN) by potent immunosuppression but remains associated with serious and life-threatening complications. Drugs that specifically target mediators of DPLN may help to reduce CYC dose and side effects. Monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP-1)/CCL2 mediates monocyte and T cell recruitment in DPLN and Ccl2-specific l-enantiomeric RNA Spiegelmer mNOX-E36 neutralizes the biological effects of murine Ccl2 in vitro and in vivo. We injected MRL(lpr/lpr) mice with DPLN from 14 weeks of age with vehicle, weekly 30 mg/kg CYC (full dose), monthly 30 mg/kg CYC (one-fourth full dose), pegylated control Spiegelmer, pegylated anti-Ccl2 Spiegelmer (3/week), pegylated anti-Ccl2 Spiegelmer plus CYC one-fourth full dose and mycophenolate mofetil. At week 24, DPLN and autoimmune lung injury were virtually abolished with CYC full dose but not with CYC one-fourth full dose. The CYC one-fourth full dose/Spiegelmer combination was equipotent to CYC full dose on kidney and lung injury. CD3(+)CD4(-)CD8(-) and CD3(+)CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells and serum interleukin-12p40 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels were all markedly affected by CYC full dose but not by CYC one-fourth full dose. No additive effects of anti-Ccl2 Spiegelmer were noted on bone marrow colony-forming unit-granulocyte macrophage counts and 7/4(high) monocyte counts, lymphoproliferation, and spleen T cell depletion. In summary, anti-Ccl2 Spiegelmer permits 75% dose reduction of CYC for controlling DPLN and pneumonitis in MRL-Fas(lpr) mice, sparing suppressive effects of full-dose CYC on myelosuppression and T cell depletion. We propose anti-Ccl2 Spiegelmer therapy as a novel strategy to reduce CYC toxicity in the treatment of severe lupus.
Blood 2008 APR

Rac1 is essential for intraembryonic hematopoiesis and for the initial seeding of fetal liver with definitive hematopoietic progenitor cells.

Ghiaur G et al.


Definitive hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSCs/Ps) originating from the yolk sac and/or para-aorta-splanchno-pleura/aorta-gonad-mesonephros are hypothesized to colonize the fetal liver, but mechanisms involved are poorly defined. The Rac subfamily of Rho GTPases has been shown to play essential roles in HSC/P localization to the bone marrow following transplantation. Here, we study the role of Rac1 in HSC/P migration during ontogeny and seeding of fetal liver. Using a triple-transgenic approach, we have deleted Rac1 in HSCs/Ps during very early embryonic development. Without Rac1, there was a decrease in circulating HSCs/Ps in the blood of embryonic day (E) 10.5 embryos, while yolk sac definitive hematopoiesis was quantitatively normal. Intraembryonic hematopoiesis was significantly impaired in Rac1-deficient embryos, culminating with absence of intra-aortic clusters and fetal liver hematopoiesis. At E10.5, Rac1-deficient HSCs/Ps displayed decreased transwell migration and impaired inter-action with the microenvironment in migration-dependent assays. These data suggest that Rac1 plays an important role in HSC/P migration during embryonic development and is essential for the emergence of intraembryonic hematopoiesis.
Blood 2007 OCT

Distinct roles of integrins alpha6 and alpha4 in homing of fetal liver hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells.

Qian H et al.


Homing of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) into the bone marrow (BM) is a prerequisite for establishment of hematopoiesis during development and following transplantation. However, the molecular interactions that control homing of HSCs, in particular, of fetal HSCs, are not well understood. Herein, we studied the role of the alpha6 and alpha4 integrin receptors for homing and engraftment of fetal liver (FL) HSCs and hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) to adult BM by using integrin alpha6 gene-deleted mice and function-blocking antibodies. Both integrins were ubiquitously expressed in FL Lin(-)Sca-1(+)Kit(+) (LSK) cells. Deletion of integrin alpha6 receptor or inhibition by a function-blocking antibody inhibited FL LSK cell adhesion to its extracellular ligands, laminins-411 and -511 in vitro, and significantly reduced homing of HPCs to BM. In contrast, the anti-integrin alpha6 antibody did not inhibit BM homing of HSCs. In agreement with this, integrin alpha6 gene-deleted FL HSCs did not display any homing or engraftment defect compared with wild-type littermates. In contrast, inhibition of integrin alpha4 receptor by a function-blocking antibody virtually abrogated homing of both FL HSCs and HPCs to BM, indicating distinct functions for integrin alpha6 and alpha4 receptors during homing of fetal HSCs and HPCs.