Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were cultured in supernatants of peripheral blood monocytes that had been cultured for 3 days with and without lactoferrin. Colony-stimulating activity (CSA) was measured in supernatants of the endothelial cell cultures and appropriate control cultures using normal, T-lymphocyte-depleted, phagocyte-depleted, low- density bone marrow cells in colony growth (CFU-GM) assays. Monocyte- conditioned medium contained a nondialyzable, heat labile factor that enhanced 4–15--fold the production of CSA by endothelial cells. The addition of lactoferrin to monocyte cultures reduced the activity of this monokine by 69%. Lactoferrin did not inhibit CSA production by monokine-stimulated endothelial cells. Therefore, vascular endothelial cells are potent sources of CSA, the production of CSA by these cells is regulated by a stimulatory monokine, and the production and/or release of the monokine is inhibited by lactoferrin, a neutrophil- derived putative feedback inhibitor of granulopoiesis. Inasmuch as a similar monokine is known to stimulate CSA production by fibroblasts and T lymphocytes, we suggest that mononuclear phagocytes play a pivotal role in the regulation of granulopoiesis by recruiting a variety of cell types to produce CSA.

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