High proliferative potential macrophage progenitor cells (HPP-CFC) in 5- fluorouracil (FU) treated and normal mouse bone marrow (BM) have been shown to be less sensitive to inhibition of proliferation by prostaglandins of the E series (PGE) than low proliferative potential macrophage progenitor cells (LPP-CFC) in normal BM in agar cultures. The growth of large colonies (diameter greater than 0.5 mm) derived from HPP-CFC in FU BM, which require a combination of macrophage colony- stimulating factor (CSF-1) plus a new growth factor called synergistic activity (SA), are inhibited by 50% in the presence of 5.5 X 10(-6) M PGE1. On the other hand, LPP-CFC in normal BM, which form smaller colonies (diameter less than or equal to 0.5 mm) in the presence of CSF- 1 alone, require only 5 X 10(-8) M PGE1 for the same level of inhibition. Addition of appropriate concentrations of PGE1 to the agar culture assay should improve detection of HPP-CFC by inhibiting the proliferation of LPP-CFC. These observations suggest that the apparent negative feedback control of macrophage production by PGE operates largely on the LPP-CFC, which respond to CSF-1 alone, and is probably not involved in the regulation of the more primitive HPP-CFC.

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