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Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Dec;4(6):723-31. doi: 10.1586/egh.10.73.

GM-CSF: a role in immune and inflammatory reactions in the intestine.

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Department of Medicine and Laboratory of Mucosal Immunology, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, CA 92093-0623, USA.


Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a cytokine that promotes myeloid cell development and maturation, and dendritic cell differentiation and survival in vitro. Growing evidence supports the notion that GM-CSF has a major role in some inflammatory and autoimmune reactions and in the host's response to pulmonary infection, but few studies have addressed its functions and importance in the GI tract. Recent studies demonstrated that administration of GM-CSF can result in clinical improvement in patients with Crohn's disease. Mice deficient in GM-CSF (GM-CSF(-/-) ) developed more severe intestinal and systemic infection after an enteric infection, and more severe colitis in response to enteric exposure to dextran sodium sulfate. Both the severity of infection and colitis were largely prevented by GM-CSF administration. Such studies indicate that GM-CSF has an important role in the regulation of intestinal immune and inflammatory responses.

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