A purified human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (hG-CSF) was studied for its protective effect on the induction of neutropenia and enhanced susceptibility to microbial infections in mice receiving cyclophosphamide (CPA). A severe reduction in peripheral blood neutrophils was induced 4 days after injection with 200 mg of CPA per kg although the level normalized rapidly thereafter. When mice were injected subcutaneously once a day with 2.5 micrograms of hG-CSF beginning on the day after CPA injection, the reduction was prevented markedly, even 4 days later. On the other hand, in mice receiving CPA 4 days prior to infection, a weakened resistance to intraperitoneal challenge with a strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa was induced. This weakened resistance was dose-dependently restored to normal by four daily injections with hG-CSF. A daily dose of 1.0 microgram was required for complete restoration, although hG-CSF did not directly inhibit bacterial growth in vitro. In hG-CSF-treated mice, morphologically mature neutrophils migrated rapidly into the peritoneal cavities where bacteria were inoculated, followed by a rapid elimination of bacteria from the locality as compared with controls. In addition, the same treatment with hG-CSF was able to protect significantly against systemic infections caused by Serratia marcescens, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans. These data show the possibility that prophylactic therapy with hG-CSF may augment the resistance of immunocompromised patients to infections
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