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, Volume 61, Issue 6, pp 338–345 | Cite as

Why clinicians should be interested in Interleukin-3

  • Peter Valent
  • Klaus Geissler
  • Christian Sillaber
  • Klaus Lechner
  • Peter Bettelheim
Leading article

Summary

Interleukin-3 (IL-3), a product of activated immune cells has recently been cloned and introduced in preclinical and clinical trials. The biological target-cell spectrum of IL-3 is broad and includes progenitor cells of various hematopoietic lineages as well as multiple stages of stem cell differentiation. IL-3 also induces growth of most primitive hemopoietic progenitors (CFU-blast). Synergistic effects on growth of myeloid cells (i.e. macrophages, eosinophils and blood basophils) are obtained by sequential use of IL-3 and later-acting myelopoietic cytokines. In addition, IL-3 supports terminal maturation, prolonges survival and enhances the functional properties of myeloid cells through high-affinity binding sites. In vivo administration of IL-3 is followed by an increase in peripheral white blood cell counts as well as by an increase in the number of circulating progenitor cells giving rise to mature hemopoietic cells in response to more lineage-restricted growth factors. IL-3 also regulates growth of leukemic cells and primes them to become more sensitive to cell cycle specific cytotoxic drugs. IL-3 apparently represents a novel and unique hemopoietic growth factor. Its clinical use should offer new strategies in the treatment of cytopenia, leukemic disease and in stem cell transplantation.

Key words

Interleukin-3 Hemopoietic stem cells Clinical significance 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Valent
    • 1
  • Klaus Geissler
    • 1
  • Christian Sillaber
    • 1
  • Klaus Lechner
    • 1
  • Peter Bettelheim
    • 1
  1. 1.I. Medical Department, Division of HematologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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