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Abstract

In order to determine whether human granulocyte-macrophage colony- stimulating factor (GM-CSF) can enhance phagocytosis, neutrophils were combined with Staphylococcus aureus (S aureus), and both the number of bacteria per neutrophil and the percent of neutrophils phagocytizing were assessed in the absence and presence of GM-CSF. Exposure to GM-CSF did not enable neutrophils to ingest unopsonized bacteria. When bacteria were opsonized with serum, both the number of bacteria per neutrophil and the percent of cells phagocytizing were increased by treatment with GM-CSF. Digestion of extracellular organisms by lysostaphin was used to substantiate phagocytosis. These results indicate that another effect of GM-CSF on the mature neutrophil is the enhancement of phagocytosis.