Guanosine-rich oligodeoxynucleotides induce proliferation of macrophage progenitors in cultures of murine bone marrow cells

Eur J Immunol. 1999 Nov;29(11):3496-506. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1521-4141(199911)29:11<3496::AID-IMMU3496>3.0.CO;2-3.


Widely used to specifically inhibit gene expression, synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) can exert a plethora of non-antisense effects. Immunostimulation by CpG-ODN has attracted particular attention. ODN rich in the nucleotide guanosine (G-rich ODN) constitute another type of sequences displaying non-antisense-mediated effects. We have examined the effects of CpG- and G-rich ODN on primary mouse bone marrow cells (BMC) in vitro. CpG-ODN induced rapid proliferation of B cells and production of IL-6 and IL-12p40. However, when tested in agar colony assays, CpG-ODN failed to promote the formation of colonies. In marked contrast, G-rich non-CpG-ODN led to sustained proliferation of macrophage-like cells without inducing cytokines or hemopoietic growth factors. Unlike CpG-ODN, G-rich ODN effectively induced the formation of macrophage colonies in agar assays, indicating a direct action on progenitor cells. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays revealed specific binding of G-rich ODN to a non-nuclear protein. The ability of a panel of ODN to compete for binding correlated with their potential to induce proliferation of macrophage-like cells from primary mouse BMC. As such, these data reveal a so far unrecognized potential of G-rich ODN to signal directly outgrowth of macrophage progenitors from BMC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agar
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / immunology*
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / immunology
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / pharmacology
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / immunology
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / pharmacology
  • Guanosine*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / immunology*
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Macrophage Activation / immunology*
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / immunology
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / pharmacology
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / chemistry
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / immunology*
  • Spleen / cytology


  • Interleukin-6
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Guanosine
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Agar