Granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor: not just another haematopoietic growth factor

Abstract

Granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is often used to treat leucopenia. Other haematopoietins may increase the number of circulating leucocytes with higher efficiency, but GM-CSF has additional effects that may be far more relevant than its haematopoietic activity. GM-CSF induces differentiation, proliferation and activation of macrophages and dendritic cells which are necessary for the subsequent T helper cell type 1 and cytotoxic T lymphocyte activation. GM-CSF haematopoietic and non-haematopoietic functions have pro-inflammatory and immune regulatory potential to treat a variety of autoimmune diseases and tumours. On the other hand, GM-CSF deficiency leads to various immune dysfunctions and the current utilization of GM-CSF as haematopoietic factor might be an accurate but very incomplete indication for a cytokine with vast clinical potential.

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Abbreviations

AML:

Acute myeloid leukaemia

AMØ:

Alveolar macrophage

BM:

Bone marrow

CISH:

Cytokine inducible SH2-domain

DC:

Dendritic cell

GRAP:

GM-CSFRα subunit-associated protein

iNKT:

Invariant natural killer T

IκK:

IκB kinase

MØ:

Macrophage

MAPK:

Mitogen-activated kinase-like protein

NFκB:

Nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells

IkB:

Nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B cells inhibitor β

PI3K:

Phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase

PKC:

Protein kinase C

PAP:

Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis

rhGM-CSF:

Recombinant human GM-CSF

rhG-CSF:

Recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor

STAT:

Signal transducers and activators of transcription

SLAP:

SRC-like adapter protein

TLR:

Toll-like receptor

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Acknowledgments

A.F.C., O.R.E., and M.A.S., are scholarship holders from the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT), Mexico. Point of view and discussion from León Islas is gratefully acknowledged. The graphic design expertise from Ariadna Méndez is gratefully acknowledged. The authors declare not to have any conflict of interest related to publishing this article.

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Correspondence to Rogelio Hernandez-Pando.

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Francisco-Cruz, A., Aguilar-Santelises, M., Ramos-Espinosa, O. et al. Granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor: not just another haematopoietic growth factor. Med Oncol 31, 774 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12032-013-0774-6

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Keywords

  • Haematopoietic growth factor
  • Granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor
  • Innate immunity
  • Adaptive immunity