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Blood. 2003 Mar 1;101(5):2033-42. Epub 2002 Oct 17.

Donor pretreatment with progenipoietin-1 is superior to granulocyte colony-stimulating factor in preventing graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

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  • 1The Queensland Institute of Medical Research, and the Department of Pathology, University of Queensland, Herston, Australia.


The granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and Flt-3 receptor agonist progenipoietin-1 (ProGP-1) has potent effects on dendritic cell (DC) expansion and may be an alternative to G-CSF for the mobilization of stem cells for allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). We studied the ability of stem cell grafts mobilized with this agent to induce graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) to minor and major histocompatibility antigens in the well-described B6 --> B6D2F1 SCT model. ProGP-1, G-CSF, or control diluent was administered to donor B6 mice. ProGP-1 expanded all cell lineages in the spleen, and unseparated splenocytes from these animals produced large amounts of interleukin 10 (IL-10) and transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) whereas the expression of T-cell adhesion molecules was diminished. Transplantation survival was 0%, 50%, and 90% in recipients of control-, G-CSF-, and ProGP-1-treated allogeneic donor splenocytes, respectively (P <.0001). Donor pretreatment with ProGP-1 allowed a 4-fold escalation in T-cell dose over that possible with G-CSF. Donor CD4 T cells from allogeneic SCT recipients of ProGP-1 splenocytes demonstrated an anergic response to host antigen, and cytokine production (interferon gamma [IFNgamma], IL-4, and IL-10) was also reduced while CD8 T-cell cytotoxicity to host antigens remained intact. Neither CD11c(hi) DCs nor CD11c(dim)/B220(hi) DCs from ProGP-1-treated animals conferred protection from GVHD when added to control spleen. Conversely, when equal numbers of purified T cells from control-, G-CSF-, or ProGP-1-treated allogeneic donors were added to allogeneic T-cell-depleted control spleen, survival at day 60 was 0%, 15%, and 90%, respectively (P <.0001). The improved survival in recipients of ProGP-1 T cells was associated with reductions in systemic tumor necrosis factor alpha generation and GVHD of the gastrointestinal tract. We conclude that donor pretreatment with ProGP-1 is superior to G-CSF for the prevention of GVHD after allogeneic SCT, primarily due to incremental affects on T-cell phenotype and function.

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