The synthesis and secretion of granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating activity (CSA) by isolated human monocytes: kinetics of the response to bacterial endotoxin

J Immunol. 1983 Feb;130(2):800-7.


We studied the kinetics of the synthesis and secretion of granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating activity (CSA) by human monocytes stimulated by S. typhi endotoxin. We found that these cells initially secrete copious quantities of CSA when exposed to endotoxin but rapidly become refractory to its stimulatory effect. When monocytes were incubated in liquid suspension cultures, large amounts of CSA were generated during the first 24 hr of culture after the addition of as little as 10 ng/ml of endotoxin to previously unstimulated monocytes. After the addition of endotoxin, CSA secretion abruptly took place after an initial 1 to 2 hr lag phase, and occurred primarily within the first 6 to 12 hr of culture. The addition of puromycin or cycloheximide to the cultures significantly inhibited CSA secretion in response to endotoxin, suggesting that CSA production by stimulated monocytes requires de novo protein synthesis and does not solely result from the release of preformed active CSA. After initial exposure to endotoxin, CSA production by monocytes steadily decreased after 24 hr and ceased after 72 hr. Subsequent reexposure to the same concentration of endotoxin resulted in little CSA production, whereas the refractory state could be overcome by increasing the quantity of endotoxin added. Additional studies demonstrated that refractoriness of monocytes to further CSA production after initial response to endotoxin was not due to a loss of cell viability, degradation of endotoxin, or inhibition of CSA synthesis by soluble metabolites generated by stimulated monocytes. Our data suggest that the capacity of human monocytes to synthesize CSA in response to endotoxin rapidly becomes blunted after initial exposure of the cells to the lipopolysaccharide, but that the refractory state of these cells can be overcome by increasing the concentration of endotoxin. Acquired hyporesponsiveness of cells that produce CSA may in part account for the phenomenon of immediate endotoxin tolerance observed in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Separation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Colony-Stimulating Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Colony-Stimulating Factors / metabolism
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Endotoxins / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Indomethacin / pharmacology
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Puromycin / pharmacology
  • Salmonella typhi*
  • Time Factors


  • Colony-Stimulating Factors
  • Endotoxins
  • Puromycin
  • Cycloheximide
  • Indomethacin