Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor induces cytokine secretion by human polymorphonuclear leukocytes

J Clin Invest. 1989 Apr;83(4):1308-12. doi: 10.1172/JCI114016.


Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is known as an inducer of proliferation and functional activation of myeloid cells. This study was carried out to characterize the effects of GM-CSF on polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) more extensively. Using Northern blot analysis, we show that PMN are able to accumulate mRNAs for different cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha); G-CSF, and M-CSF, all of which are involved in inflammation and hematopoiesis. Biological assays and immunoassays demonstrate that PMN translate these mRNAs, except TNF-alpha, into secretory proteins. However, the expression of these cytokines is dependent on stimulation by exogenous signals, preferentially provided by the T cell-derived lymphokine GM-CSF. Stimulation of hematopoiesis and amplification of defense mechanisms after T cell activation thus might involve not only monocytes but also PMN, a cell type previously believed to be biosynthetically inactive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Retracted Publication

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Colony-Stimulating Factors / biosynthesis
  • Colony-Stimulating Factors / pharmacology*
  • Cytokines
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Growth Substances / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Mice
  • Neutrophils / drug effects
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis


  • Biological Factors
  • Colony-Stimulating Factors
  • Cytokines
  • Growth Substances
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor