Granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a potent hematopoietic cytokine, which stimulates stem cell proliferation in the bone marrow. We now report that GM-CSF receptors expressed on neural progenitor cells and can mediate a biological response in cells to treat with GM-CSF treated neural progenitor cells exhibited a proliferative response and a marked decrease in terminal differentiation to mature neuron or astrocytes. GM-CSF treatment also suppressed neural progenitor cell apoptosis. These findings suggest that GM-CSF can stimulate the proliferation and inhibit the apoptosis of neural progenitor cells to expand the progenitor population, and that GM-CSF has a potential role in neural development or repair.
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