Effect of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor in experimental visceral leishmaniasis
Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
GM-CSF induces three effects potentially beneficial in visceral leishmaniasis: blood monocyte mobilization, macrophage activation, and amelioration of granulocytopenia. To determine the experimental role and effect of GM-CSF in this intracellular infection, livers from Leishmania donovani-infected BALB/c mice were tested for GM-CSF mRNA expression and mice were treated with anti-GM-CSF antiserum or GM-CSF. L. donovani infection upregulated hepatic GM-CSF mRNA expression by 10-fold, and anti-GM-CSF treatment exacerbated visceral infection and tripled liver parasite burdens 4 wk after challenge. In euthymic mice with established infection, treatment with 1-5 micrograms/d murine GM-CSF induced three dose-related effects: peripheral blood leukocytosis, preferential accumulation of myelomonocytic cells at visceral foci of infection, and leishmanicidal activity comparable to that achieved by IFN-gamma. These effects were either largely or entirely T cell dependent. Treatment with human GM-CSF also induced anti-leishmanial activity but with little effect on peripheral leukocyte number or tissue myelomonocytic cell influx; human G-CSF stimulated marked peripheral granulocytosis and neutrophil tissue accumulation but induced little antileishmanial effect. These results identify a role for endogenous GM-CSF in the initial host defense response to L. donovani, reemphasize the influxing monocyte as an effector cell, and indicate that GM-CSF can be used as an antileishmanial treatment.