AffiliationDepartment of Experimental Haematology, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Christie Hospital, Withington, Manchester, UK.
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AbstractIn the absence of appropriate growth factors, for example interleukin-3 or GM-CSF, cultured bone marrow stem cells die by a process known as apoptosis or programmed cell death. Apoptosis may occur in vivo when concentrations of specific growth factors are limiting and may be a means of regulating cell numbers. Growth factors are also essential for proliferation of bone marrow stem cells but differentiation can occur, provided there is a survival stimulus in the absence of growth factors. Combinations of growth factors may be synergistic in stimulating the survival and proliferation of multipotent stem cells. Although neither stem cell factor, nor GM-CSF alone can significantly induce the proliferation of stem cells, the combination induces the proliferation of these cells. Committed progenitor cells such as granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming cells, however, are stimulated to proliferate by GM-CSF alone, while stem cell factor in combination with GM-CSF results in only a slight additive effect. To date, most research has concentrated on the growth stimulatory factors. GM-CSF has an important role in the reversal of chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression in cancer patients and in other bone marrow disorders. A number of growth inhibitory molecules have now been identified, such as macrophage inhibitory protein-1 alpha. In the future, it is possible that improvements in cure rates may be achieved in cancer patients by combining the growth inhibitory factors with the stimulatory factors. Inhibitory factors may be given before chemotherapy to prevent toxicity and stimulatory factors may be given afterwards to treat neutropenic patients.
CitationGrowth factors and the molecular control of haematopoiesis. 1994, 13 Suppl 2:S3-8 Eur. J. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Dis.
Journal'European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
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