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Blood. 2001 Jul 15;98(2):322-7.

Hematopoietic responses to stress conditions in young dogs compared with elderly dogs.

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Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA.


Clinical observations show that older patients do not tolerate high-dose chemoradiotherapy as well as younger patients. It is unclear whether this is due to age-related differences in their responses to hematopoietic injury or to differential toxicities to other organs. In the present study, 6 young (0.5 years) and 6 elderly (8 years) dogs were challenged with 7 repeated nonlethal doses of 50 or 100 cGy total body irradiation (TBI) each (total 550 cGy), and 21 days of recombinant canine granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (rcG-CSF) after the last TBI dose. Recoveries of absolute neutrophil, platelet, and lymphocyte counts after each TBI dose, responses to rcG-CSF treatment, and telomere lengths in neutrophils were compared before and after the study. No differences were found in recoveries of neutrophils, platelets, or in responses to rcG-CSF among young and old dogs. In contrast, recoveries were suggestively worse in younger dogs. After rcG-CSF, platelet recoveries were poor in both groups compared with previous platelet recoveries (P <.01). Consequently, 2 old and 3 young dogs were euthanized because of persistent thrombocytopenia and bleeding. At the study's completion, marrow cellularities and peripheral blood counts of the remaining young and elderly dogs were equivalent. The telomere lengths in both groups were significantly reduced after the study versus beforehand (P =.03), but the median attritions of telomeres were not different. It was concluded that aging does not appear to affect hematopoietic cell recoveries after repeated low-dose TBI, suggesting that poor tolerance of radiochemotherapy regimens in older patients may be due to nonhematopoietic organ toxicities rather than age-related changes in hematopoietic stem cells reserves.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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