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The present studies investigated the balance of positive and negative growth signals in direct regulation of hematopoiesis. Interleukin-3 (IL-3) combined with Steel factor (SLF) optimally stimulated proliferation of Lin-Thy-1+ murine bone marrow progenitors in single-cell assays, and that proliferation was inhibited more than 90% by transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1). Colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), IL-1, or IL-6 as a third stimulatory growth factor was incapable of counteracting the TGF-beta 1-mediated inhibition of IL-3-plus-SLF-stimulated growth, while G-CSF slightly enhanced the number of TGF-beta 1-resistant clones. As a fourth factor, only IL-1 could partially overcome the TGF-beta 1-induced growth inhibition. While the presence of a cocktail of five additional stimulatory growth factors did not enhanced the frequency of single Lin-Thy-1+ progenitors proliferating in response to IL-3 plus SLF, the number of responding progenitors in the presence of TGF-beta 1 was enhanced nine-fold. Furthermore, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), but not macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha (MIP-1 alpha), cooperated with TGF-beta 1 to reverse the proliferative effects of multiple stimulatory cytokines, resulting in 76% inhibition. Thus, the direct effects of single inhibitory factors on hematopoietic progenitor cell growth can be reversed by multiple stimulatory growth factors, and negative growth factors can directly cooperate to suppress progenitor cell growth stimulated by multiple positive-acting factors.


Journal article


Exp Hematol

Publication Date





985 - 989


Animals, Bone Marrow Cells, Cell Division, Chemokine CCL4, Cytokines, Drug Synergism, Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor, Hematopoiesis, Hematopoietic Cell Growth Factors, Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Interferon-gamma, Interleukin-1, Interleukin-3, Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor, Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Monokines, Stem Cell Factor, Transforming Growth Factor beta, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha