Relationship of granulocyte colony stimulating factor with other acute phase reactants in man

Clin Exp Immunol. 2005 Apr;140(1):97-100. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2005.02732.x.


The non-specific acute phase response in mice is associated with increased resistance to bacterial infection, which is critically mediated by granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), but the behaviour of G-CSF in the human acute phase response is not known. Cardiothoracic surgery is a powerful acute phase stimulus and we show here that this procedure caused increased production of G-CSF, in addition to increases in the circulating concentrations of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-6 and the acute phase plasma proteins C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid A protein (SAA). Values of G-CSF correlated positively with IL-6 concentrations and circulating neutrophil counts, but not with CRP values. These results confirm that G-CSF is a physiological component of the acute phase response in humans that shares some of the same regulatory controls as IL-6, but its downstream effects are on neutrophils, not hepatic acute phase protein synthesis. Our observations are compatible with a protective role against bacterial infection for G-CSF in the human acute phase response, and support investigation of the prophylactic use of G-CSF in at-risk patients.

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Proteins / analysis*
  • Acute-Phase Reaction / immunology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Female
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Pulmonary Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein / analysis


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Interleukin-6
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • C-Reactive Protein