Evidence that granulocyte macrophage-colony-stimulating factor regulates the distribution and differentiated state of dendritic cells/Langerhans cells in human lung and lung cancers

J Clin Invest. 1993 Feb;91(2):566-76. doi: 10.1172/JCI116236.


GM-CSF has been shown to be important for the survival and function of cells of dendritic cell/Langerhans cell (LC) lineage in vitro. Since these cells have been demonstrated to infiltrate human lung and some lung carcinomas, we hypothesized that the production of GM-CSF in the lung could be important in their recruitment and differentiation. Using both immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, we have shown that: (a) GM-CSF was produced by normal bronchiolar epithelium, the only site were CD1a+ LC are observed in the normal lung, whereas neither GM-CSF production nor LC were identified in normal alveolar epithelium. (b) In inflamed pulmonary tissue, hyperplastic alveolar cells produced GM-CSF, and CD1a+ LC accumulated adjacent to these cells. (c) Some, but not all, lung carcinomas produced this cytokine, and a close correlation was found between the production of GM-CSF and the number of CD1a+ LC infiltrating these tumors. Since GM-CSF was produced at all sites where CD1a+ LC are known to accumulate, but not at other locations within the lung, these data suggest that the local production of GM-CSF by certain lung cells may play an important role in determining the distribution and differentiated state of dendritic cell/LC in the human lung.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / immunology
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Antigens, CD1
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Female
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / analysis
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / genetics
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / physiology*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Langerhans Cells / immunology*
  • Lung / cytology
  • Lung / immunology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, CD1
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor