GM-CSF was initially characterized as a factor that can support the in vitro colony formation of granulocyte-macrophage progenitors. It is also a growth factor for erythroid, megakaryocyte, and eosinophil progenitors. GM-CSF is produced by T cells, B cells, macrophages, mast cells, endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and adipocytes in response to cytokine or inflammatory stimuli. On mature hematopoietic cells, GM-CSF acts as a prosurvival factor and activates effector functions of granulocytes, monocytes/macrophages, and eosinophils. It promotes a Th1 biased immune response, angiogenesis, allergic inflammation, and the development of autoimmunity. Mouse GM-CSF is only weakly active on rat cells, although rat GM-CSF is fully active on mouse cells. Rat GM-CSF and mouse GM-CSF shares 69% amino acid sequence identity.
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