Growth of human hematopoietic colonies from patients with myelodysplastic syndromes in response to recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor

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The in vitro effect of recombinant human GM-CSF (rHuGM-CSF) was tested on bone marrow-derived multilineage (CFU-GEMM) as well as megakaryocytic (CFU-Mk), erythroid (BFU-E), and granulocyte-macrophage (CFU-GM) progenitors in a group (n=16) of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Hematopoietic progenitor cell growth was markedly impaired in MDS patients as compared to normal controls (p <0.05, at least). Recombinant HuGM-CSF supported the growth of CFU-GEMM. CFU-Mk, and BFU-E at lower, equivalent, or slightly higher frequencies than those found in cultures plated with medium conditioned by peripheral blood leukocytes (PHA-LCM), but it was invariably ineffective in improving growth values. Recombinant HuGM-CSF supported the growth of granulocyte-macrophage colonies in 15 of 16 cases. The overall incidence (mean ± SEM) of CFU-GM in cultures containing rHuGM-CSF (5 ng/ml) was significantly higher than the one found in cultures stimulated with PHA-LCM (40 ± 15 vs. 17 ± 7, p <0.05). Upon culture with rHuGM-CSF (5 ng/ml), in 5 of 15 patients de novo colony formation was observed (8 ± 4) and in 4 of 15 patients CFU-GM growth (129 ± 33) fell within normal range. Doses of rHuGM-CSF higher than 5 ng/ml did not result in a further increase of MDS-derived colony formation. It is concluded that rHuGM-CSF (a) does not improve the growth of CFU-GEMM, CFU-Mk, and BFU-E; (b) may completely restore the growth of CFU-GM in a subgroup of MDS patients; (c) while ineffective in improving anemia and thrombocytopenia, its in vivo in MDS may correct leukopenia through an effect at the level of granulocyte-macrophage progenitor cell compartment, at least in a subset of highly responsive patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-366
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology

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