The T cell product interleukin 5 (IL-5) has been shown to be a key factor in the development and the maturation of the eosinophilic cell lineage. We report here on the detection of human IL-5 receptors on eosinophilic sublines of the promyelocytic leukemia HL-60. Sodium butyrate, which initiates differentiation to mature eosinophils, also induces the appearance of high affinity (Kd 1-5 X 10(-11) M) IL-5 binding sites on these cells. The receptors are specific for IL-5, since binding of radiolabeled ligand can only be inhibited with homologous or murine IL-5 and not by other cytokines. We further show that the receptors are functional, since IL-5 can stimulate the proliferation of these cells. Affinity crosslinking of surface-bound 125I human IL-5 or 35S mouse IL-5 identified two membrane polypeptides of approximately 60 and approximately 130 kD to which IL-5 is closely associated. The presence of granulocyte/macrophage-colony-stimulating factor or tumor necrosis factor during butyrate induction decreased the expression of IL-5 binding sites compared with control cultures. The identification and characterization of human IL-5 receptors on HL-60 sublines should provide new insight into the role of this cytokine in eosinophil differentiation.

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