The aim of this study was to examine the roles of various cytokines in histamine synthesis by macrophages in bone marrow. Pure (> 99% nonspecific esterase-, CD14-, and Mac-1-positive) macrophage populations were obtained after long term culture of bone marrow cells (bone marrow-derived macrophages). Culture of the cells in the presence of Escherichia coli LPS caused a slight, but dose-dependent, increase in histidine decarboxylase-associated histamine synthesis with a concomitant increase in the expression of CD14, a LPS receptor, as well as the Mac-1 Ag on their surface. Granulocyte/macrophage CSF (GM-CSF) or IL-3 strongly enhanced LPS-induced histamine formation and expression of CD14 on bone marrow-derived macrophages, without affecting the expression of Mac-1 Ag. GM-CSF and IL-3 also caused a marked accumulation of both histidine decarboxylase and IL-6 mRNAs in the cells. Macrophage CSF and IL-1-alpha also potentiated LPS-dependent histamine formation when it was stimulated with GM-CSF or IL-3. In contrast to these cytokines, IFN-gamma suppressed LPS-induced histamine production regardless of whether it was stimulated by GM-CSF or IL-3, and inhibited CD14 expression. Neither IL-6 nor granulocyte CSF had any appreciable effect on LPS-induced histamine production even in combination with GM-CSF or IL-3. These results suggest that GM-CSF and IL-3 enhance LPS-induced histamine production in bone marrow-derived macrophages and that macrophage CSF and IL-1 alpha augment the actions of GM-CSF and IL-3. Possible implication of CD14 molecule in the reactions is discussed.

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