Interleukin-8 (IL-8) is a major neutrophil chemoattractant and functional stimulant that is induced by IL-1, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha), and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We report that recombinant human (rh) granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and rhIL-3 are also potent inducers of IL-8 messenger RNA (mRNA) accumulation and protein secretion by normal peripheral blood monocytes. Neutrophils produce IL-8 in response to GM-CSF but not to IL- 3. In contrast, recombinant human granulocyte-CSF (rhG-CSF), at concentrations as high as 100 ng/mL, does not induce IL-8 in either cell type. rhGM-CSF also induces IL-8 mRNA expression and IL-8 protein in the promonocytic cell line, U-937, whereas rhG-CSF does not. IL-8 secretion by monocytes was stimulated within 2 hours after incubation with rhGM-CSF or rhIL-3. Stimulation of neutrophils with rhGM-CSF resulted in an increase in cell-associated IL-8 at 4 hours. At 24 hours, cell-associated IL-8 levels declined, whereas secreted IL-8 levels increased. In contrast, virtually all IL-8 induced in monocytes appeared as secreted protein. Neither rhGM-CSF nor rhIL-3 induced detectable secretion of IL-1, TNF alpha, or IL-6 protein by monocytes. rhGM-CSF, and to a lesser degree rhIL-3, potently stimulated IL-8 secretion in cultures of heparinized whole blood, whereas rhG-CSF had no significant effect on IL-8 secretion. Induction of IL-8 by GM-CSF may be physiologically important in enhancing the acute inflammatory response.