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J Immunol. 1998 Dec 15;161(12):6802-11.

MRL/lpr and MRL+/+ macrophage DNA synthesis in the absence and the presence of colony-stimulating factor-1 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor.

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Inflammation Research Center, University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.


Macrophage accumulation and proliferation as well as altered macrophage properties have been observed in autoimmune MRL mice. To determine whether there might be innate differences in the proliferative responses, we examined the DNA synthesis responses of peritoneal macrophages and macrophages derived in vitro from bone marrow precursors (bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM)). Murine peritoneal exudate macrophages normally require the addition of macrophage CSF (CSF-1) to enter cell cycle in vitro. In contrast, we have found that many thioglycollate-induced adherent peritoneal macrophages, but not resident peritoneal macrophages, from both MRL/lpr and MRL+/+ mice atypically underwent DNA synthesis even in the absence of added CSF-1. They also responded very well to granulocyte-macrophage CSF. These findings may help to explain the appearance of increased macrophage numbers in MRL lesions. In contrast to a previous report, it was found that MRL/lpr and MRL+/+ BMM did not have an enhanced response to CSF-1 and that modulation of CSF-1 receptor expression was not more rapid in MRL BMM. We also found no evidence for abnormal CSF-1 internalization and degradation or for the lpr mutation to have any enhanced effect on BMM survival in the absence of CSF-1. TNF-alpha lowered the DNA synthesis response to CSF-1 of MRL/lpr BMM rather than enhanced it, as has been reported. Our data suggest that the enhanced accumulation of macrophages in the MRL/lpr kidney cannot be explained by a proposed model of enhanced responsiveness of MRL/lpr BMM to CSF-1, including a contribution by TNF-alpha.

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