The present study was undertaken to elucidate whether B cell lymphoma and hybridoma cell lines can be stimulated by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) or by antibodies against immunoglobulin M (IgM) to produce granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). GM-CSF activity was assayed on the basophil/mast cell line PT-18 which is GM-CSF- and interleukin 3-dependent. Antibodies against murine recombinant GM-CSF were used to identify the colony-stimulating factor activity present in the supernatants of the stimulated B cell lines. When these cell lines were stimulated with LPS, two of five lymphoma and five of six hybridoma lines produced GM-CSF. Two cell lines, the B cell lymphoma M12.4.1 and the hybridoma TH2.2, were analyzed more extensively under serum-free conditions. In these two cell lines, the production of GM-CSF was dependent on the dose of LPS used and time of exposure. Antibodies against IgM stimulated the TH2.2 (IgM+) but not the M12.4.1 (IgM-) cells to produce GM-CSF. Northern blot analysis of the M12.4.1 and TH2.2 cells showed that mRNA of GM-CSF can be detected in LPS-stimulated but not in unstimulated cells. Our data show that transformed B cells can be stimulated to produce GM-CSF. The present data and previous studies on GM-CSF production by normal bone marrow-derived B cells suggest a possible participation of B cells in granulopoiesis.

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