Oncostatin M, a cytokine produced by activated lymphoid cells, regulates the growth and differentiation of a number of tumor and normal cells. In contrast to its effects on normal endothelial and aortic smooth muscle cell cultures, Oncostatin M was a potent mitogen for cells derived from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related Kaposi's sarcoma (AIDS-KS). After exposure to Oncostatin M, AIDS-KS cells assumed a spindle morphology, had an increased ability to proliferate in soft agar, and secreted increased amounts of interleukin-6. Oncostatin M RNA and immunoreactive Oncostatin M protein were found in AIDS-KS-derived cell isolates. These results suggest that Oncostatin M may play a role in the pathogenesis of AIDS-KS.

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