IL-34 and CSF-1: similarities and differences

J Bone Miner Metab. 2013 Sep;31(5):486-95. doi: 10.1007/s00774-013-0476-3. Epub 2013 Jun 6.


Colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) is widely expressed and considered to regulate the development, maintenance, and function of mononuclear phagocyte lineage cells such as monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells (DCs), Langerhans cells (LCs), microglia, and osteoclasts. Interleukin-34 (IL-34) was recently identified as an alternative ligand for the CSF-1 receptor (CSF-1R) through functional proteomics experiments. It is well established that the phenotype of CSF-1R-deficient (CSF-1R⁻/⁻) mice is more severe than that of mice bearing a spontaneous null mutation in CSF-1 (CSF-1(op/op)). CSF-1R⁻/⁻ mice are severely depleted of macrophages and completely lack LCs, microglia, and osteoclasts during their lifetime. In contrast, CSF-1(op/op) mice exhibit late-onset macrophage development and osteoclastogenesis, whereas they show modestly reduced numbers of microglia and a relatively normal LC development. In contrast, IL-34-deficient (IL-34⁻/⁻) mice show a marked reduction of LCs and a decrease in microglia. IL-34 and CSF-1 display different spatiotemporal expression patterns and have distinct biological functions. In this review, we focus on the functional similarities and differences between IL-34 and CSF-1 in vivo.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Interleukins / genetics
  • Interleukins / metabolism*
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / genetics
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Osteoclasts / cytology
  • Osteoclasts / metabolism


  • Interleukins
  • interleukin-34, mouse
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor