The ability of recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (rhGM-CSF) to augment the fungicidal activity of human monocytes for Candida albicans was evaluated. Purified human monocytes cultured with [3H]leucine-labeled C. albicans caused a dose-dependent release of the [3H]leucine. The amount of [3Hlleucine released correlated with a decrease in the number of viable yeast colonies. Monocyte cytotoxicity for C. albicans was reduced by superoxide dismutase and catalase and by inhibitors of myeloperoxidase and scavengers of hydroxyl radical and singlet oxygen, consistent with monocyte candidacidal activity being partly dependent upon products of oxidative metabolism. Monocytes incubated with rhGM-CSF produced more superoxide anion (o2-) spontaneously and after stimulation than control monocytes (P <.05). Enhanced O2- production was dose-dependent and specific for rhGM-CSF and could be inhibited by antibody to rhGM-CSF. In association with rhGM-CSF-induced production of O2-, the cytokine enhanced cytotoxic activity for C. albicans. These findings indicate that rhGM-CSF stimulates human monocyte fungicidal activity for C. albicans. © 1990 by the University of Chicago. All rights reserved.