Production of colony-stimulating activity by normal and neoplastic human B lymphocytes

V. Pistoia, R. Ghio, S. Roncella, F. Cozzolino, S. Zupo, M. Ferrarini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Normal human B cells were purified from peripheral blood or tonsils and tested for their ability to release colony-stimulating activity (CSA) in short-term cultures. The target cells used in the CSA assays were from peripheral blood or bone marrow. Unstimulated B cells produced CSA in amounts similar to those present in the GCT-conditioned medium used as a positive control. The B cell-derived CSA predominantly promoted the growth of colonies that contained macrophages alone or macrophages and granulocytes. CSA eluted in a single peak from a G-75 Sephadex column with an approximate molecular weight (mw) of 65 to 70 kilodaltons (Kd). Fractionation of tonsil B lymphocytes on Percoll density gradients showed that large B cells, probably already activated in vivo, were the main source of CSA. By contrast, small, resting B cells recovered from a different fraction of the Percoll gradient released minimum amounts or no CSA. However, these B cells became CSA producers following stimulation with Staphylococcus aureus Cowan (SAC) in vitro. B cells purified from the peripheral blood of nine out of 12 patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) also released CSA in vitro in the absence of stimuli. These findings suggest that by releasing CSA, B cells may have a role in the regulation of hematopoiesis and in the control of the inflammatory process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1340-1347
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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