Human macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF or CSF-1), either in purified or in recombinant form, is able to generate macrophagic colonies in a murine bone marrow colony assay, but only stimulates small macrophagic colonies of 40-50 cells in a human bone marrow colony assay. We report here that recombinant human granulocytic/macrophage colony stimulating factor (rhGM-CSF) at concentrations in the range of picograms enhances the responsiveness of bone marrow progenitors to M-CSF activity, resulting in an increased number of macrophagic colonies of up to 300 cells. Polyclonal antiserum against M-CSF did not alter colony formation of bone marrow progenitors incubated with GM-CSF at optimal concentration (1-10 ng/ml) for these in vitro assays. Thus, GM-CSF at higher concentrations (nanogram range) can by itself, elicit macrophagic colonies, and at lower concentrations (picogram range) acts to enhance the responsiveness of these progenitors to M-CSF.

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