Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor enhances the modulatory effect of cytokines on monocyte-derived multinucleated giant cell formation and fungicidal activity against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis.
Multinucleated giant cell formation (MNGC) occurs in central nervous system AIDS. The mechanism of fusion of microglia in these cases is unknown. We investigated the ability of lymphokines to induce fusion and found that interleukin-3 (IL-3), interleukin-4 (IL-4), gamma interferon (gamma-IFN), and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) induced MNGC formation in cultures of rat microglia in vitro. The diacylglycerol analogue phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) also induced MNGC. Interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) failed to induce fusion. Preincubation of the IL-3 treated cultures with anti-IL-3, anti-leukocyte function associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) alpha-chain (CD11a), and anti-intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) inhibited cell fusion. Antibody to polymorphic Class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) determinants also inhibited MNGCs. Cell surface LFA-1 was predominantly observed on MNGC, suggesting that LFA-1 expression is involved in microglia fusion. We thus propose that MNGC formation of microglia result from the effects of T cell-derived cytokines probably through the induction of cell surface adhesion molecules.