Temporal adaptation of neutrophil oxidative responsiveness to n-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine. Acceleration by granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor

D. English, H. E. Broxmeyer, T. G. Gabig, L. P. Akard, D. E. Williams, R. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


This investigation was undertaken to clarify the mechanism by which purified recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) potentiates neutrophil oxidative responses triggered by the chemotactic peptide, FMLP. Previous studies have shown that GM-CSF priming of neutrophil responses to FMLP is induced relatively slowly, requiring 90 to 120 min of incubation in vitro, is not associated with increased levels of cytoplasmic free Ca2+, but is associated with up-regulation of cell-surface FMLP receptors. We have confirmed these findings and further characterized the process of GM-CSF priming. We found that the effect of GM-CSF on neutrophil oxidative responsiveness was induced in a temperature-dependent manner and was not reversed when the cells were washed extensively to remove the growth factor before stimulation with FMLP. Extracellular Ca2+ was not required for functional enhancement by GM-CSF and GM-CSF alone effected no detectable alteration in the 32P-labeled phospholipid content of neutrophils during incubation in vitro. Our data indicate that GM-CSF exerts its influence on neutrophils by accelerating a process that occurs spontaneously and results in up-regulation of both cell-surface FMLP receptors and oxidative responsiveness to FMLP. Thus, the results demonstrate that, with respect to oxidative activation, circulating end-stage polymorphonuclear leukocytes are nonresponsive or hyporesponsive to FMLP; functional responsiveness increases dramatically as surface FMLP receptors are gradually deployed after the cells leave the circulation. Thus, as neutrophils mature, their responsiveness to FMLP changes in a manner which may be crucial for efficient host defense. At 37°C, this process is markedly potentiated by GM-CSF. We conclude that endogenous GM-CSF, released systemically or at sites of infection and inflammation, potentially plays an important role in host defense by accelerating functional maturation of responding polymorphonuclear leukocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2400-2406
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this