In the past 8 years, our group has carried out a series of in-vitro studies designed to characterize the role of mononuclear phagocytes as regulators of human hematopoiesis. The results of this program of investigation, some of which are reviewed below, led to the discovery that mononuclear phagocytes are more efficient recruitors of growth factor release by other cells than they are direct stimulators of progenitor cell growth. Specifically, mononuclear phagocytes release soluble factors (MRA) that stimulate other cells, including vascular endothelial cells, skin fibroblasts, and marrow fibroblasts, to release multilineage hematopoietic growth factors. Experiments designed to purify and characterize these monokines indicated unambiguously that the MRA that stimulates granulocyte/macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) release is interleukin-1 (IL-1). Based on these observations and recent observations by other groups on the hematopoietic effects of other monokines including tumor necrosis factor alpha, we argue that mononuclear phagocytes serve as important regulators of hematopoiesis by producing monokines that, in turn, induce the expression of multiple hematopoietic growth factor genes in stromal cells of the hematopoietic microenvironment. Because IL-1 molecules and the mononuclear phagocytes producing them are evolutionarily conserved, and in view of the heterogeneous nonhematopoietic effects of these monokines, studies on their role in hematopoiesis may also provide new understanding of the molecular evolution of multicellular organisms.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1987|
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