[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early and late endocrine disorders are among the most common complications in survivors after hematopoietic allogeneic- (allo-) and autologous- (auto-) stem cell transplant (HSCT). This review summarizes main endocrine disorders reported in literature and observed in our center as consequence of auto- and allo-HSCT and outlines current options for their management. Gonadal impairment has been found early in approximately two-thirds of auto- and allo-HSCT patients: 90-99% of women and 60-90% of men. Dysfunctions of the hypothalamus-pituitary-growth hormone/insulin growth factor-I axis, hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis, and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis were documented as later complicances, occurring in about 10, 30, and 40-50% of transplanted patients, respectively. Moreover, overt or subclinical thyroid complications (including persistent low-T3 syndrome, chronic thyroiditis, subclinical hypo- or hyperthyroidism, and thyroid carcinoma), gonadal failure, and adrenal insufficiency may persist many years after HSCT. Our analysis further provides evidence that main recognized risk factors for endocrine complications after HSCT are the underlying disease, previous pretransplant therapies, the age at HSCT, gender, total body irradiation, posttransplant derangement of immune system, and in the allogeneic setting, the presence of graft-versus-host disease requiring prolonged steroid treatment. Early identification of endocrine complications can greatly improve the quality of life of long-term survivors after HSCT.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypocellular or hypoplastic myelodysplastic syndromes (HMDS) are a distinct subgroup accounting for 10–15% of all MDS patients, that are characterized by the presence of bone marrow (BM) hypocellularity, various degree of dysmyelopoiesis and sometimes abnormal karyotype.
Laboratory and clinical evidence suggest that HMDS share several immune-mediated pathogenic mechanisms with acquired idiopathic aplastic anemia (AA).
Different immune-mediated mechanisms have been documented in the damage of marrow hematopoietic progenitors occurring in HMDS; they include oligoclonal expansion of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), polyclonal expansion of various subtypes of T helper lymphocytes, overexpression of FAS-L and of the TNF–related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), underexpression of Flice-like inhibitory protein long isoform (FLIPL) in marrow cells as well as higher release of Th1 cytokines, such as interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). It has also been documented that some HMDS patients have higher frequency of polymorphisms linked both to high production of proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and transforming growth factor-β and to the inhibition of T-cell mediated immune responses such as interleukin-10, further suggesting that immune-mediated mechanisms similar to those seen in AA patients may also operate in HMDS.
Clinically, the strongest evidence for immune–mediated hematopoietic suppression in some HMDS is the response to immunosuppression including mainly cyclosporine, anti-thymocyte globulin and/or cyclosporine, or alemtuzumab.
Here we review all these immune mechanisms as well as the influence of this deranged cellular and humoral immunologic mileau on the initiation and possible progression of MDS. All these observations are pivotal not only for a better understanding of MDS pathophysiology, but also for their immediate clinical implications, eventually leading to the identification of MDS patients who may benefit from immunosuppression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overwhelming post-splenectomy infection (OPSI) is a rare medical emergency, mainly caused by encapsulated bacteria, shortly progressing from a mild flu-like syndrome to a fulminant, potentially fatal, sepsis. The risk of OPSI is higher in children and in patients with underlying benign or malignant hematological disorders. We retrospectively assessed OPSI magnitude in a high risk cohort of 162 adult splenectomized patients with malignant (19%) and non malignant (81%) hematological diseases, over a 25-year period: 59 of them splenectomized after immunization against encapsulated bacteria, and 103, splenectomized in the previous 12-year study, receiving only life-long oral penicillin prophylaxis. The influence of splenectomy on the immune system, as well as the incidence, diagnosis, risk factors, preventive measures and management of OPSI are also outlined. OPSI occurred in 7 patients (4%) with a median age of 37 years at time interval from splenectomy ranging from 10 days to 12 years. All OPSIs occurred in non immunized patients, except one fatal Staphylococcus aureus -mediated OPSI in a patient adequately immunized before splenectomy. Our analysis further provides evidence that OPSI is a lifelong risk and that current immune prophylaxis significantly decreases OPSI development. Improvement in patients' education about long-term risk of OPSI and increased physician awareness to face a potentially lethal medical emergency, according to the current surviving sepsis guidelines, represent mandatory strategies for preventing and managing OPSI appropriately.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TKI clinical management has shown the clinical importance of
acquired resistance to therapy, mostly due to point mutations (PM)
occurrence in the Bcr-Abl kinase domain (KD). Lately, isolated Bcr-Abl
transcript variants characterized by DI in Abl KD have been described
in Imatinib-resistant patients. However, mostly due to the rarity of these
variants, their significance for clinical setting is not yet defined. We evaluated
the DI frequency in early chronic phase CML patients treated in
front line with Imatinib and progressively enrolled from 2003 until 2010
in our institution. A total of 376 patients were monitored by RTQ-PCR
for 9 years, with a median follow-up time of 58 months (6-115), according
to ELN recommendations. Bcr-Abl KD mutations were detected
using Sanger sequencing and DI were confirmed by re-sequencing of
DHPLC recovered fractions. Overall survival (OS), failure free survival
(FFS), event free survival (EFS), progression free survival (PFS) and TKI
best molecular response were defined according to ENL recommendations.
Sokal risk index was available for only 128 patients: 62 high, 42
intermediate and 24 low risk. In our cohort, 91% of OS, 53% of EFS and
5% of PFS were observed. In particular, 66% of 165 tested patients
reduced ≤10% at 3 months, 62% of 326 tested patients ≤1% at 6 months
and 60% of 359 ≤0.1% at 18 months. However, only 196 out of 376
patients were optimal responders to TKI, while 141 suboptimal and 42
failure responders, for which we performed mutation analysis. In particular,
98 (54%) were no mutated (WT), 68 (37%) showed PM, whereas
16 showed DI events. In particular, 5 DI patients showed an open
reading frame of Bcr-Abl proteins. The majority of DI had high (36%)
and intermediate (36%) Sokal risk, respect to PM (24% high and 27%
intermediate) and WT (12% high and 34% intermediate). Moreover, the
DI showed reduced OS (p=0.0444) and FFS (p=0.0342) respect to PM and
WT (p<0,0001). Over 9 years of follow-up, complete molecular response
was achieved in 31% of DI, in contrast to 41% of PM and 61% of WT.
Nevertheless, none of DI and PM patients was optimal responder, while
56% of DI and 51% of PM were failure. In conclusion, since the OS and
FFS were significantly decreased in patients with Abl DI versus patients
with Abl PM or Abl WT, the presence and the type of Abl mutations may
be relevant to be integrated in the clinical decision algorithm.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis and avascular necrosis (AVN) are long-lasting and debilitating complications of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).
We describe the magnitude of bone loss, AVN and impairment in osteogenic cell compartment following autologous (auto) and allogeneic (allo) HSCT, through the retrospective bone damage revaluation of 100 (50 auto- and 50 allo-HSCT) long-term survivors up to 15 years after transplant. Current treatment options for the management of these complications are also outlined.
We found that auto- and allo-HSCT recipients show accelerated bone mineral loss and micro-architectural deterioration during the first years after transplant. Bone mass density (BMD) at the lumbar spine, but not at the femur neck, may improve in some patients after HSCT, suggesting more prolonged bone damage in cortical bone. Phalangeal BMD values remained low for even more years, suggesting persistent bone micro-architectural alterations after transplant. The incidence of AVN was higher in allo-HSCT recipients compared to auto-HSCT recipients. Steroid treatment length, but not its cumulative dose was associated with a higher incidence of bone loss. Allo-HSCT recipients affected by chronic graft versus host disease seem to be at greater risk of continuous bone loss and AVN development. Reduced BMD and higher incidence of AVN was partly related to a reduced regenerating capacity of the normal marrow osteogenic cell compartment.
Our results suggest that all patients after auto-HSCT and allo-HSCT should be evaluated for their bone status and treated with anti-resorptive therapy as soon as abnormalities are detected.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Compartments of white pulp involved in protective antimicrobial functions: a) periarteriolar lymphoid sheats
(PALS) through secretion of T-dependent immunoglobulins (Ig) and antigen presentation to T-Lymphocyte by marginal zone (MZ) macrophages; b) follicles through MZ macrophage-mediated activation of B lymphocytes and plasmacells and production of antibodies, complement and opsonins; c) marginal zone through opsonin-independent phagocytosis mediated by MZ macrophages, presentation of particulate antigens by MZ macrophages to CD27+IgM+ B cells, rapid release of antibodies by CD27+IgM+ memory
B cells, opsonin-dependent phagocytosis by MZ macrophages. Red pulp exerts anti-microbial protective functions mainly through blood-borne pathogens filtering, culling and pitting of red blood cells (RBC) and
rapid GM-CSF release via innate response activator (IRA) and antibodies by B cells and plasmacells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The efficacy and safety of low dose oral valgancyclovir (VGCV) as cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation prophylaxis was retrospectively evaluated in 32 consecutive patients which underwent allogeneic HLA-matched related and unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Thirty HSCT recipients showed pretransplant CMV seropositivity. Fifteen received a myeloablative conditioning regimen, while seventeen patients received a reduced-intensity conditioning regimen. Twenty-one patients received graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis with cyclosporin A (CsA) and methotrexate (MTX), and the others CsA with MTX and anti-thymocyte globulin. CMV infection was monitored weekly using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). VGCV was administered orally at a dose of 450 mg daily for six months. Six patients developed a positive CMV-PCR on average 56 days after HSCT successfully treated with VGCV at 1800 mg/day, except one who developed fatal gastrointestinal CMV disease. At the time of CMV reactivation, four patients had been affected by grade II-IV acute GVHD and two by an extensive chronic GVHD. No significant specific VGCV-related toxicity was encountered. Seven patients presented hematological toxicity which did not require drug discontinuation. Our data suggest that low dose VGCV is safe and effective as CMV reactivation prophylaxis in allogeneic HSCT recipients. These results require further validation in prospective randomized studies.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Le infezioni in medicina: rivista periodica di eziologia, epidemiologia, diagnostica, clinica e terapia delle patologie infettive
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mucormycosis is an increasingly recognized invasive fungal infection (IFI) in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and after allogeneic (allo) stem cell transplantation (HSCT); it is mainly due to the severe and prolonged neutropenia related to high-dose chemotherapy. In such patients, the lung is the most frequently involved site in mucormycosis. Since rapidly progressive dissemination may occur after pulmonary mucormycosis in hematologic malignancies, early diagnosis and prompt initiation of an effective antifungal therapy is mandatory for a successful outcome. We report the case of a young AML patient who developed, early after the onset of neutropenia in the first induction phase of chemotherapy, a rapidly progressive pulmonary IFI, successfully treated with liposomal Amphotericin-B (LAmB) and then with a limited open toracothomy biopsy, clearly establishing diagnosis of mucormycosis and removing lung infiltrate. Secondary prophylaxis with LamB, applied during both consolidation therapy and myeloablative sibling allogeneic HSCT, was effective to prevent IFI recurrence despite the development of grade I acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and limited chronic GVHD requiring immunosuppressive treatment. Our case report further provide evidence that the combined surgical and LAmB therapy is an effective and safe choice for the management of pulmonary mucormycosis in hematological immunocompromised patients.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Le infezioni in medicina: rivista periodica di eziologia, epidemiologia, diagnostica, clinica e terapia delle patologie infettive
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acquired bone marrow failure syndromes (BMFS) are a heterogeneous group of hematological disorders characterized by impaired bone marrow function and subsequent cytopenia of one or more blood cell lineages [1,2]. The well-accepted pathogenic mechanism of the typical bone marrow failure - aplastic anemia (AA)- is a T cell mediated immune attack targeting the hematopoietic tissue . This pathogenic mechanism is at least partially shared by other bone marrow failure syndromes, such as lineage-restricted aplasias and some myelodysplastic syndromes. Thus, for these disorders immunosuppression (IS) is the pivotal etiologic treatment. While the standard IS regimen include the heterologous anti-thymocyte globulin , here we review the recent data on the anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody alemtuzumab as a novel IS agent for marrow failures. Alemtuzumab led to objective responses in aplastic anemia patients in 3 recent prospective studies, with overall response rates ranging between 37% and 72%. Adverse events were irrelevant, ruling out even the concerns about the risk of infectious complications. Alemtuzumab was effective even for the treatment of lineage-restricted marrow failure, with very acceptable toxicity and excellent response rates (as high as 80%). More recently, even patients suffering from myelodysplastic syndromes showed a remarkable hematological response to alemtuzumab-based IS treatment. Thus, alemtuzumab is a novel IS agent representing an excellent alternative to ATG for all immune-mediated marrow failure syndromes. Even if the dose and the schedule may still require further refining, the available data support the need of large prospective trials comparing alemtuzumab to current standard IS regimens.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To explore whether predisposition to bone marrow failure syndromes (BMF), such aplastic anemia (AA), paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and myelosysplastic syndromes (MDS), is found in killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) ligand (KIR-L) gene variations or cytokine polymorphisms.
We studied a cohort of 77 patients with AA, 129 with MDS and 285 healthy controls for the frequencies of KIR-L and KIR genotypes and 22 selected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located within 10 cytokine (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL12, IFN- γ, TNF- α, TGF- β) and 3 cytokine receptor (IL-1R, IL-1RA, IL-4Rα) genes.
In AA we found a decreased frequency of inhibitory KIR-2DL3 genes. In MDS, no difference in the frequency of KIR genotype was identified; however, a decreased frequency of 2DL3 was found in hypocellular MDS. Analysis of the KIR genotype in correlation with the corresponding KIR-L profile, revealed a decreased frequency of stimulatory 2DS1/C2 mismatch both in AA and MDS. In AA and MDS cohorts, compared to controls, we found a higher frequency of TT codon 10 variant and of GG codon 25 variant of TGF- β gene, consistent with a high secretory phenotype. This relationship was even more pronounced in PNH and hypocellular MDS. We confirm that the hypersecretory genotype T/T at position -874 of INF-γ gene was overrepresented only in AA and correlates with presence of a PNH clone. Instead in MDS patients, the frequency of G/A polymorphism at position -308 on the TNF- α gene promoter, which correlates with higher TNF- α production, was found significantly higher. Moreover, hypocellular MDS was characterized by a higher prevalence of IL-10 GCC/GCC haplotype, which is functionally associated with a low secretor phenotype.
Our findings suggest that alterations in KIR/KIR-L matching, such as increased 3DL2 and decreased 2DS1 mismatch, and in the polymorphisms of TGFβ1, IFN-γ, TNF- α and IL-10 may account for the propensity to immunemediated killing of hematopoietic stem cells and/or ineffective hematopoiesis characteristic of AA and MDS. Further studies are needed to elucidate whether these immunogenetic traits may be involved in increased risk of developing immune-mediated BMF.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An alemtuzumab-based experimental immunosuppressive treatment (IST) regimen was investigated in 35 patients with severe aplastic anaemia (SAA), pure red cell (PRCA) or pure white cell aplasia (PWCA). Alemtuzumab total dose was 73-103 mg s.c., followed by cyclosporine. No serious toxicity due to the regimen was observed. Adverse events were clinically irrelevant; infectious events were rare. The total response rate was 58%, 84% and 100% in SAA, PRCA and PWCA, respectively, with corresponding 6 months cumulative response probabilities of 84%, 84% and 100%. Subcutaneous alemtuzumab is a feasible and sufficiently safe IST regimen for patients suffering from immune-mediated marrow failures.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · British Journal of Haematology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) hemolytic anemia is due mainly to deficiency of the complement regulator CD59 on the surface of red blood cells (RBCs). Eculizumab, an antibody that targets complement fraction 5 (C5), has proven highly effective in abolishing complement-mediated intravascular hemolysis in PNH; however, the hematologic benefit varies considerably among patients. In the aim to understand the basis for this variable response, we have investigated by flow cytometry the binding of complement fraction 3 (C3) on RBCs from PNH patients before and during eculizumab treatment. There was no evidence of C3 on RBCs of untreated PNH patients; by contrast, in all patients on eculizumab (n = 41) a substantial fraction of RBCs had C3 bound on their surface, and this was entirely restricted to RBCs with the PNH phenotype (CD59(-)). The proportion of C3(+) RBCs correlated significantly with the reticulocyte count and with the hematologic response to eculizumab. In 3 patients in whom (51)Cr labeling of RBCs was carried out while on eculizumab, we have demonstrated reduced RBC half-life in vivo, with excess (51)Cr uptake in spleen and in liver. Binding of C3 by PNH RBCs may constitute an additional disease mechanism in PNH, strongly enhanced by eculizumab treatment and producing a variable degree of extravascular hemolysis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Double-negative (DN) regulatory T cells (Tregs) are specialized T lymphocytes involved in the down-modulation of immune responses, resulting in allotolerance after allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Most of the properties of DN Tregs were identified in murine models, including the unique ability to suppress alloreactive syngeneic effector T cells in an antigen-specific manner via Fas/Fas-ligand interactions. We investigated the behaviour of DN Tregs following human allogeneic HSCT with regard to occurrence of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and restoration of T-cell receptor repertoire in a cohort of 40 patients. The frequency of DN Tregs and CD4/CD8 TCR repertoire was measured serially and at the time of diagnosis of GvHD by flow cytometry. Analysis demonstrated a positive correlation between degree of alloreactivity, as measured by grade of GvHD, and the number of variable beta chain (Vbeta) family expansions in both T-cell populations. We also found that a deficiency of DN Tregs was associated with an increased number of Vbeta family expansions, and most importantly, with the occurrence of GvHD. All individuals who demonstrated more than 1% DN Tregs did not develop GvHD, providing evidence that DN Tregs participate in peripheral tolerance to prevent GvHD when expanded after allogeneic HSCT.
Preview · Article · May 2008 · British Journal of Haematology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the involvement of the urokinase-type plasminogen-activator receptor (uPAR) in granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)-induced mobilization of CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from 16 healthy donors. Analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNCs) showed an increased uPAR expression after G-CSF treatment in CD33+ myeloid and CD14+ monocytic cells, whereas mobilized CD34+ HSCs remained uPAR negative. G-CSF treatment also induced an increase in serum levels of soluble uPAR (suPAR). Cleaved forms of suPAR (c-suPAR) were released in vitro by PBMNCs and were also detected in the serum of G-CSF-treated donors. c-suPAR was able to chemoattract CD34+ KG1 leukemia cells and CD34+ HSCs, as documented by their in vitro migratory response to a chemotactic suPAR-derived peptide (uPAR84-95). uPAR84-95 induced CD34+ KG1 and CD34+ HSC migration by activating the high-affinity fMet-Leu-Phe (fMLP) receptor (FPR). In addition, uPAR84-95 inhibited CD34+ KG1 and CD34+ HSC in vitro migration toward the stromal-derived factor 1 (SDF1), thus suggesting the heterologous desensitization of its receptor, CXCR4. Finally, uPAR84-95 treatment significantly increased the output of clonogenic progenitors from long-term cultures of CD34+ HSCs. Our findings demonstrate that G-CSF-induced upregulation of uPAR on circulating CD33+ and CD14+ cells is associated with increased uPAR shedding, which leads to the appearance of serum c-suPAR. c-suPAR could contribute to the mobilization of HSCs by promoting their FPR-mediated migration and by inducing CXCR4 desensitization.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although osteoporosis is a relatively common complication after allogeneic stem cell transplantation, the role of bisphosphonates in its management has not yet been completely established. Thirty-two patients who underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation were prospectively evaluated for bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine (LS) and femoral neck (FN) after a median period of 12.2 months. Then, 15 of the patients with osteoporosis or rapidly progressing osteopenia (bone loss > 5%/yr) received three monthly doses of 4 mg zoledronic acid iv. Fifteen patients were followed up without treatment, and all 30 patients were reevaluated after 12 months for BMD and bone turnover markers. By using enriched mesenchymal stem cells in the colony-forming units fibroblast (CFU-F) assay, we evaluated the osteogenic stromal lineage. This procedure was performed in both groups of patients at study entry and after 12 months. The average BMD loss was 3.42% at LS and 3.8% at FN during a 1-yr longitudinal evaluation in 32 patients. Subsequently, BMD increased at both LS and FN (9.8 and 6.4%, respectively) in the zoledronic acid-treated cohort. Hydroxyproline excretion decreased, and serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase increased significantly, whereas serum osteocalcin increase did not reach the limit of significance. A significant increase in CFU-F growth in vitro was induced by in vivo zoledronic acid administration. In the untreated group, no significant change was observed in bone turnover markers, LS BMD (-2.1%), FN BMD (-2.3%), and CFU-F colony number. In conclusion, short-term zoledronic acid treatment consistently improved both LS and FN BMD in transplanted patients who were at high risk for fast and/or persistent bone loss, partly by increasing the osteogenic progenitors in the stromal cell compartment.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2005 · Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased serum leptin has been described after various organ transplants, with a mechanism that is still unclear.
We measured serum leptin in 60 patients before and after allogeneic (allo) or autologous (auto) stem cell transplant (SCT) and in 60 healthy controls, matched for age and body mass index (BMI).
Serum leptin was higher in patients after SCT than before and in controls. Leptin production was higher after allo- than after auto-SCT; the presence of chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) was associated with the highest values. The physiological correlation with BMI was lost in the allogeneic setting, indicating a strong influence of factors other than the nutritional status on circulating leptin. No relationship was found between serum leptin levels and time from transplant, age, cortisol, C-reactive protein, and T-lymphocyte CD4-to-CD8 ratio. Among the cytokines secreted by type-1/type-2 T-helper lymphocytes, only serum interferon-gamma significantly correlated with serum leptin levels. Anti-leptin blocking antibodies partially inhibited T-cell activation in mixed lymphocyte reaction, suggesting a link between leptin and T-lymphocyte activation in the allo-SCT setting.
Taken together, these findings suggest that increased serum leptin concentrations may contribute to T-cell activation during development of cGVHD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) relapsed at 111 and 84 months after achievement of complete remission (CR) induced by a combination of all- trans retinoic acid and chemotherapy. In both patients molecular remission, obtained after consolidation, had been confirmed at 60 months from CR achievement. At relapse, morphological, immunophenotypic, cytogenetic, and molecular analyses showed findings identical to those at diagnosis. Hematological and molecular remission was induced with the identical treatment applied at diagnosis. We conclude that, although infrequently, patients with APL treated with modern combination therapy can experience very late relapse and can be rescued with treatment similar to that administered at diagnosis.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2004 · Annals of Hematology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanism of action of farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTIs) has not been fully clarified. We investigated the cytotoxic effects of various FTIs in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), using LAMA cells and marrow cells from 40 CML patients in chronic phase. FTI-mediated cytotoxic effect was observed in LAMA cells and in 65% of primary CML cells, whereas marrow cells from controls were only weakly affected. Cytotoxic effects were partially related to enhanced apoptosis; however, Fas-receptor (FasR) and Fas-ligand (FasL) expression were not modified by FTIs. Susceptibility to FTI-mediated inhibition did not correlate with FasR/FasL expression in CD34+ CML cells. Moreover, intra-cellular activation of caspase-1 and -8 were not altered by FTIs, and their blockade did not reverse FTI toxicity. However, we observed FTI-induced activation of caspase-3, and its inhibition partially reverted FTI-induced apoptosis. FTIs did not modulate bcl2, bclxL, and bclxS expression, whereas they increased inducible nitric oxide (iNOS) mRNA and protein levels, resulting in higher NO production. Furthermore, C3 exoenzyme, a Rho inhibitor, significantly increased iNOS expression in CML cells, suggesting that FTIs may up-regulate NO formation at least partially through FTI-mediated inhibition of Rho. We conclude that FTIs induce selective apoptosis in CML cells via activation of iNOS and caspase-3.