We studied the production of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G- CSF), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) by stromal cells from 33 patients with aplastic anemia (AA). Complete, confluent stromal layers were produced by 29 of the 33 samples using the long-term bone marrow culture (LTBMC) system. The concentration of G-CSF, GM-CSF, and IL-6 in culture media with or without interleukin-1 (IL-1) stimulation was determined by an enzyme- linked immunoadsorbent assay (ELISA). The spontaneous production of G- CSF, GM-CSF, and IL-6 did not differ significantly between normal controls and the patients with AA. The ability of stromal cells to release the three hematopoietic growth factors in response to IL-1 was either normal or elevated in all but one patient. We also studied the change in production of G-CSF, GM-CSF, and IL-6 by stromal cells before and after antilymphocyte globulin (ALG) therapy in 16 patients with AA. There was no correlation between the change in production of these cytokines and the response to ALG. In contrast to previous studies that showed a defect in the production of hematopoietic growth factors by stromal cells from patients with AA, the results indicated a normal or elevated production of G-CSF, GM-CSF, and IL-6 by marrow stromal cells in patients with AA.

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