Macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF or CSF-1) and granulocyte- macrophage CSF (GM-CSF) have been shown to increase human monocyte urokinase-type plasminogen-activator (u-PA) activity with possible consequences for cell migration and tissue remodeling; because monocyte u-PA activity is likely to be controlled in part also by the PA inhibitors (PAIs) made by the cell, the effect of M-CSF and GM-CSF on human monocyte PAI-2 and PAI-1 synthesis was investigated. To this end, elutriation-purified human monocytes were treated in vitro with purified recombinant human M-CSF and GM-CSF, and PAI-2 and PAI-1 antigen and mRNA levels measured by specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and Northern blot, respectively. Each CSF could enhance the protein and mRNA levels of PAI-2 and PAI-1 at similar concentrations for each product. This similar regulation of monocyte PAI expression in response to the CSFs contrasted with that found for the effects of lipopolysaccharide, transforming growth factor-beta and a glucocorticoid. Therefore, PAIs may be modulating the effects of the CSFs on monocyte u-PA activity at sites of inflammation and tissue remodeling.