The relationship between Ia-like antigens (Ia-antigens) on human monocytes and the ability of lactoferrin (LF) to inhibit the production of colony stimulatory activity (CSA) for granulocyte and macrophage colony formation was investigated. Complement-dependent cytotoxicity of human monocytes by antiserum to Ia-antigen reduced CSA production by 50%. LF decreased CSA production by monocytes but had no influence on monocytes insensitive to anti-Ia and complement. Anti-Ia in the absence of complement had no effect on production of CSA but blocked the inhibitory action of LF. This suggests that LF inhibits production of CSA fromn an Ia-antigen-positive subpopulation of human blood monocytes. This may be of relevance to the regulation of myelopoiesis.
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