Juvenile chronic myelogenous leukemia (JCML) is a good model for the study of myeloproliferation because JCML hematopoietic progenitor cells grow in vitro at very low cell densities without the addition of exogenous stimulus. Previous studies have demonstrated that this proliferation is dependent on granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and that removal of monocytes from the cell population before culture eliminates this “spontaneous” myeloproliferation, suggesting a paracrine role of monocyte stimulation. However, subsequent studies have shown that increased GM-CSF production from the JCML monocytes is not a consistent finding and therefore not a plausible sole mechanism. In examining hematopoietic growth factor dose- response curves, both JCML GM and erythroid nonadherent progenitor cell populations displayed a marked and selective hypersensitivity to GM- CSF. Responses to interleukin-3 and G-CSF were identical to control dose-response curves. This is the first demonstration of a myeloid leukemia in which hypersensitivity to a specific growth factor appears to be involved in the pathogenesis of the disease.

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