Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a member of a family of glycoprotein hormones that stimulate the proliferation and differentiation of hemopoietic cells in vitro and in vivo. We now report that human GM-CSF can also stimulate the proliferation of two osteogenic sarcoma cell lines, a breast carcinoma cell line, a simian virus 40-transformed marrow stromal cell line, and normal marrow fibroblast precursors. These findings suggest a more general regulatory function of GM-CSF on nonhemopoietic cell types than previously anticipated. They also raise the possibility of adverse side effects of GM-CSF therapy in patients whose malignant cells may be directly stimulated by this molecule and suggest a previously unanticipated role of GM-CSF gene activation in the evolution of solid tumors and in the pathogenesis of myelofibrosis
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