Colony-stimulating activity is a regulatory factor(s) that promotes differentiation of hemopoietic stem cells to mature granulocytes and macrophages; in man it has been found that blood monocytes, lymphocytes, and tissue macrophages produce it. In an effort to identify other potenitally physiologic tissue sources of colony- stimulating activity, we have studied the capacity of primary cultures of human vascular endothelial cells to produce colony-stimulating activity. Medium conditioned by incubation with endothelial cultures contained activity that promoted granulocyte-macrophage colony formation of nonadherent human and murine marrow cells. Exposure of endothelial cultures to 0.1–5.0 microgram/ml S. typhosa endotoxin for 6- 72 hr enhanced colony-stimulating activity production. Similarly, incubation of endothelial cells with lysates of human blood granulocytes, or cocultivation with intact granulocytes, resulted in increased colony-stimulating activity levels. In 7–14 day cultures, freshly isolated endothelial cells, incorporated into agar underlayers, consistently stimulated more colony formation by nonadherent human marrow cells than comparable numbers of blood monocytes. These data indicate that: (1) cultured human endothelial cells are a potent source of colony-stimulating activity; (2) they respond to endotoxin and granulocytes and their contents by producing increased amounts of CSA; and (3) they produce morea colony-stimulating activity, than human blood monocytes under standardized conditions in vitro. These observations suggest that the vascular endothelium may play a role in the physiologic regulation of granulopoiesis.

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