CSF-1 and granulocyte/monocyte CSF (GM-CSF) were shown to modulate the levels of Ia gene and protein expression in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM). Recombinant GM-CSF induced high levels of Ia expression, similar to the levels induced by INF-gamma, while IL-3 had no effect. In contrast, recombinant CSF-1 not only suppressed the basal levels of Ia gene and protein expression in BMM, but also inhibited the induction of Ia by IFN-gamma and GM-CSF. Basal levels of Ia were not inhibited by recombinant CSF-1 until after 16-24 h of culture, suggesting an indirect mechanism of suppression. IFN-alpha/beta and PGE2 were shown not to be involved in the CSF-1 inhibition of basal levels of Ia expression. However, the CSF-1-mediated suppression of both the basal levels of Ia expression and the induction of Ia in BMM by IFN-gamma and GM-CSF did correlate with the induction of cellular proliferation. These data imply that in addition to regulating hematopoiesis, CSFs may regulate the initiation of the immune response through their effects on Ia expression in macrophages.

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