colony-stimulating factor

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colony-stimulating factor (CSF) Any of several cytokines that stimulate development of certain types of blood cells from progenitor cells in the bone marrow and in other tissues. They include GM-CSF, a glycoprotein that causes haemopoietic stem cells to develop into mixed colonies of granulocytes and monocytes/macrophages (hence the name); G-CSF, which stimulates production of granulocytes only; and M-CSF, which promotes only monocyte/macrophage cell production. Interleukin-3 (IL-3) is sometimes called the ‘multi-CSF’ because it stimulates the production of all types of lymphocytes and also erythrocytes.

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