The effects of lamina propria mononuclear cell culture supernatant on epithelial cell DNA synthesis were studied using cells isolated from patients with inflammatory bowel disease and normal controls. Supernatants from resting and phytohaemagglutinin stimulated cells were studied and supernatants that strongly promoted DNA synthesis were pooled, and growth factor activity partially characterised. The effects of recombinant interleukins-1 beta,2,3,interferon-gamma, and granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor were tested in the same system. Resting lamina propria mononuclear cells produce factors that increase DNA synthesis. Production of these factors is increased by phytohaemagglutinin stimulation. No significant differences were found in production of these factors between patients with inflammatory bowel disease and normal controls. The molecular weight of the active factor(s) lies in the region 31-48 kD. Chromatofocusing produced two peaks of activity, one in the region pk 5.5 and one around pk 6.4. The activity was heat and acid pH labile. Activity was not destroyed, however, by 0.05% trypsin. Recombinant granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor was a weak stimulus to epithelial DNA synthesis, interleukin-1 beta was weakly inhibitory but other cytokines tested did not have any effect. Granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor is probably important in controlling epithelial cell growth.
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