The involvement of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in myeloid differentiation was investigated in primary murine bone marrow (BM) cells. In unstimulated BM, FAK mRNA was detected in myeloid and lymphoid cells, but not in erythroid precursors. When the BM cells were incubated with granulocyte- macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) or interleukin-3 (IL-3), FAK expression showed a remarkable difference depending on the cytokine. Although FAK was upregulated in the cells stimulated by GM-CSF (GM-treated cells), the kinase was barely detectable in the cells cultured with IL-3 (IL-3-treated cells). Morphology and flow cytometry analysis showed GM-CSF promoted the growth and differentiation of monocyte/macrophage lineage stronger than IL- 3. In addition, motility of the cytokine-differentiated cells showed an overt distinction between the cultures, which was closely correlated with FAK expression. After 7 days of stimulation, GM-treated cells showed active migration and chemoattractant-induced morphologic polarization. In contrast, IL-3-treated cells showed minimal migration and polarization. These results suggest an important role of GM-CSF in the terminal differentiation of monocytes/macrophages, and possible involvement of FAK in functional maturity of this lineage.
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