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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2008 Jul;295(1):L114-22. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00309.2007. Epub 2008 May 2.

Paradoxical role of alveolar macrophage-derived granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor in pulmonary host defense post-bone marrow transplantation.

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  • 1The Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2200, USA.


Impaired host defense post-bone marrow transplant (BMT) is related to overproduction of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) by alveolar macrophages (AMs). We show AMs post-BMT overproduce granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), whereas GM-CSF in lung homogenates is impaired both at baseline and in response to infection post-BMT. Homeostatic regulation of GM-CSF may occur by hematopoietic/structural cell cross talk. To determine whether AM overproduction of GM-CSF influenced immunosuppression post-BMT, we compared mice that received BMT from wild-type donors (control BMT) or mice that received BMT from GM-CSF-/- donors (GM-CSF-/- BMT) with untransplanted mice. GM-CSF-/- BMT mice were less susceptible to pneumonia with Pseudomonas aeruginosa compared with control BMT mice and showed antibacterial responses equal to or better than untransplanted mice. GM-CSF-/- BMT AMs displayed normal phagocytosis and a trend toward enhanced bacterial killing. Surprisingly, AMs from GM-CSF-/- BMT mice overproduced PGE(2), but expression of the inhibitory EP(2) receptor was diminished. As a consequence of decreased EP(2) receptor expression, we found diminished accumulation of cAMP in response to PGE(2) stimulation in GM-CSF-/- BMT AMs compared with control BMT AMs. In addition, GM-CSF-/- BMT AMs retained cysteinyl leukotriene production and normal TNF-alpha response compared with AMs from control BMT mice. GM-CSF-/- BMT neutrophils also showed improved bacterial killing. Although genetic ablation of GM-CSF in hematopoietic cells post-BMT improved host defense, transplantation of wild-type bone marrow into GM-CSF-/- recipients demonstrated that parenchymal cell-derived GM-CSF is necessary for effective innate immune responses post-BMT. These results highlight the complex regulation of GM-CSF and innate immunity post-BMT.

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