• 8BrcAMP;
  • c-Fms;
  • MAPK;
  • M-CSF;
  • prostaglandin

Macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) or CSF-1 controls the development of the macrophage lineage through its receptor tyrosine kinase, c-Fms. cAMP has been shown to influence proliferation and differentiation in many cell types, including macrophages. In addition, modulation of cellular ERK activity often occurs when cAMP levels are raised. We have shown previously that agents that increase cellular cAMP inhibited CSF-1-dependent proliferation in murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM) which was associated with an enhanced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activity. We report here that increasing cAMP levels, by addition of either 8-bromo cAMP (8BrcAMP) or prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), can induce macrophage differentiation in M1 myeloid cells engineered to express the CSF-1 receptor (M1/WT cells) and can potentiate CSF-1-induced differentiation in the same cells. The enhanced CSF-1-dependent differentiation induced by raising cAMP levels correlated with enhanced ERK activity. Thus, elevated cAMP can promote either CSF-1-induced differentiation or inhibit CSF-1-induced proliferation depending on the cellular context. The mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-related protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor, PD98059, inhibited both the cAMP- and the CSF-1R-dependent macrophage differentiation of M1/WT cells suggesting that ERK activity might be important for differentiation in the M1/WT cells. Surprisingly, addition of 8BrcAMP or PGE1 to either CSF-1-treated M1/WT or BMM cells suppressed the CSF-1R-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation of cellular substrates, including that of the CSF-1R itself. It appears that there are at least two CSF-1-dependent pathway(s), one MEK/ERK dependent pathway and another controlling the bulk of the tyrosine phosphorylation, and that cAMP can modulate signalling through both of these pathways.