Granulopoietic effects of lithium on human bone marrow in vitro

Carol M Richman, A. Kinnealey, P. C. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Although studies in mice suggest that lithium enhances granulopoiesis by increasing the production of colony stimulating factor (CSF), results using human assay systems have varied. We have studied the action of lithium on the in vitro proliferation of normal human bone marrow (BM) granulocytic progenitor cells (CFU(c)) and on CSF production by human peripheral blood (PB) mononuclear cells (MNC). In the absence of exogenous CSF, lithium increased the number of 'spontaneous' BM CFU(c) (P < 0.05). This effect was abolished by removal of phagocytic cells, suggesting that lithium does not affect CFU(c) directly, but rather acts via a phagocytic cell. Lithium variability increased BM CFU(c) when PB MNC feeder layers were employed as the CSF source. This stimulation was most pronounced when the number of cells in the feeder layer was low, i.e., suboptimal CSF. Incubation with 1 meq/L lithium, increased (P < 0.05) CSF production by PB MNC. Addition of lithium to BM cultures containing optimum CSF did not increase, but in fact decreased, the number of CFU(c). These studies indicate that lithium increases CSF production by both PB and BM MNC. Furthermore, the stimulatory effects of lithium occur when CSF levels in the culture system are low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-455
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Transplantation


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