IL-1 has been shown to induce granulocyte-macrophage (GM)-CSF production in several cell types including T lymphocytes, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells. We have previously demonstrated that bacterial LPS activates expression of the GM-CSF gene in murine B lymphocytes. Inasmuch as LPS is also an inducer of IL-1, we asked whether IL-1 could itself induce GM-CSF gene expression in B lymphocytes. The GM-CSF-dependent PT-18 cell line was used to detect GM-CSF biologic activity and a semi-quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay was developed to detect and measure GM-CSF mRNA. IL-1 alpha stimulated GM-CSF production by the murine B cell lines M12.4.1 and TH2.2 but not by the M12 line in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. GM-CSF mRNA expression in IL-1 alpha-treated M12.4.1 cells also increased in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. Nuclear run-on transcription assays revealed constitutive transcription of the GM-CSF gene in untreated M12.4.1 cells that did not change after IL-1 alpha treatment. Actinomycin D chase experiments indicated that IL-1 alpha increased GM-CSF mRNA stability in the M12.4.1 cells. These findings indicate that IL-1 alpha induces GM-CSF gene expression in murine B cell lines and that this event is posttranscriptionally controlled mainly at the level of mRNA stabilization.

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