Copyright © 2004, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Also available from http://cdli.asm.org/cgi/content/full/11/3/588We used the promoter of the human C-reactive protein (CRP) gene to drive inflammation-inducible overexpression\ud of the cytokine granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in transgenic mice. Transgenic mice carrying a CRP/GM-CSF fusion gene show a >150-fold increases in circulating levels of\ud GM-CSF within 6 h of intraperitoneal inoculation with 25 μg of lipopolysaccharide. However, some of the\ud transgenic mice also display relatively high basal levels of GM-CSF in the absence of any obvious inflammatory stimulus. Raised basal levels of GM-CSF are associated with a number of pathological changes, including enlarged and histologically abnormal livers and spleens and with increases in the number and activation state of macrophages and granulocytes in the peripheral blood. Despite problems associated with the expression of such a potent pleiotropic cytokine as GM-CSF, the principle of inflammation-inducible expression of chimeric constructs has been shown to be feasible. Inducible expression systems such as that described here could be of potential use in the study of the role of cytokines in health and disease and in the development of disease-resistant strains of livestock
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