Procedures are described for the isolation of a mast cell growth factor (MCGF) from medium conditioned by mitogen-activated splenic leukocytes (CM). Although optimal conditions for the production of MCGF in CM are identical to those for the production of T cell growth factor (TCGF), MCGF can be dissociated from TCGF after the first stage of purification on a DEAE-cellulose column. MCGF elutes from the column in the breakthrough fraction, whereas TCGF binds avidly to DEAE and is eluted only at high salt concentration. MCGF also differs from TCGF with respect to m.w. (as estimated by Sephadex G-150 chromatography) and sensitivity to trypsin. In addition, MCGF is produced by the murine myelomonocytic leukemia WEHI-3 and the radiation induced thymic lymphoma LBRM-33 cells, whereas TCGF is produced only by the latter in the presence of a mitogen. Another hemopoietically active factor, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) present in media conditioned by WEHI-3 and LBRM-33 cells, however, shares a number of properties with MCGF. Although studies with purified or partially purified MCGF have thus far failed to reveal a correlation between MCGF and G-CSF, further biochemical analyses are necessary to dissociate MCGF from G-CSF.

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