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Med Oncol. 2014 Jan;31(1):774. doi: 10.1007/s12032-013-0774-6. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor: not just another haematopoietic growth factor.

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Department of Pathology, National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition "Salvador Zubiran", Vasco de Quiroga 15, Tlalpan, 14000, México City, Mexico.


Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is often used to treat leucopenia. Other haematopoietins may increase the number of circulating leucocytes with higher efficiency, but GM-CSF has additional effects that may be far more relevant than its haematopoietic activity. GM-CSF induces differentiation, proliferation and activation of macrophages and dendritic cells which are necessary for the subsequent T helper cell type 1 and cytotoxic T lymphocyte activation. GM-CSF haematopoietic and non-haematopoietic functions have pro-inflammatory and immune regulatory potential to treat a variety of autoimmune diseases and tumours. On the other hand, GM-CSF deficiency leads to various immune dysfunctions and the current utilization of GM-CSF as haematopoietic factor might be an accurate but very incomplete indication for a cytokine with vast clinical potential.

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