Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor: stage-specific expression and function on late B cells.

K J Till, J Burthem, A Lopez, J C Cawley

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    Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) receptors (GMR) are expressed on myeloid cells throughout their maturational sequence. During myelopoiesis, GM-CSF induces the proliferation of precursors and has multiple effects on more mature cells; such effects include induction of maturation and priming for subsequent stimulation. GMR is expressed on a range of other cell types including acute leukemic blasts of myeloid and lymphoid lineage, but has been little studied on more mature lymphoid cells. Using sensitive triple-layer immunophenotypic techniques, we show here that both the alpha and beta c chains of the GMR are expressed on hairy cells (HCs) and myelomatous plasma cells (PCs), but not on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or prolymphocytic leukemia (PLL) lymphocytes. The receptor was demonstrable on normal PCs in tonsil, but not on either activated or resting tonsillar B cells or on circulating normal B lymphocytes. The expression of the receptor is therefore stage specific, rather than a feature of activation. Perhaps, surprisingly, in view of its effects on myeloid cells, GM-CSF did not stimulate the proliferation or differentiation of HCs and did not protect them from apoptosis. However, the cytokine had a profound effect on the interaction of the HC with its environment. Thus, the cytokine caused a major cytoskeletal reorganization resulting in the inhibition of motility and loss of adhesion to cellular and matrix ligands. These studies indicate the importance of GM-CSF outside myelopoiesis and demonstrate a previously unrecognized stage specific role for the cytokine in B-cell biology. Taken together with our previous report that M-CSF enhances B-cell motility, the present findings indicate that myeloid growth factors act in concert to facilitate the controlled migration of certain B cells into and within tissues.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 1996


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