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Cancer Res. 2006 Nov 15;66(22):10885-90.

In vivo activity of the cleaved form of soluble urokinase receptor: a new hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell mobilizer.

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Department of Biochemistry and Medical Biotechnology, Institute of Experimental Endocrinology and Oncology (National Research Council), Naples, Italy.


Cleaved forms of soluble urokinase receptor (c-suPAR) have been detected in body fluids from patients affected by various tumors. We recently reported increased c-suPAR levels in sera of healthy donors during granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)-induced mobilization of CD34(+) hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). In vitro, c-suPAR or its derived chemotactic peptide (uPAR(84-95)) stimulated migration of human CD34(+) HSCs and inactivated CXCR4, the chemokine receptor primarily responsible for HSC retention in bone marrow. These results suggested that c-suPAR could potentially contribute to regulate HSC trafficking from and to bone marrow. Therefore, we investigated uPAR(84-95) effects on mobilization of mouse CD34(+) hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSC/HPC). We first showed that uPAR(84-95) stimulated in vitro dose-dependent migration of mouse CD34(+) M1 leukemia cells and inactivated murine CXCR4. uPAR(84-95) capability to induce mouse HSC/HPC release from bone marrow and migration into the circulation was then investigated in vivo. uPAR(84-95) i.p. administration induced rapid leukocytosis, which was associated with an increase in peripheral blood CD34(+) HSCs/HPCs. In vitro colony assays confirmed that uPAR(84-95) mobilized hematopoietic progenitors, showing an absolute increase in circulating colony-forming cells. uPAR(84-95) mobilizing activity was comparable to that of G-CSF; however, neither synergistic nor additive effect was observed in combining the two molecules. These findings show for the first time in vivo biological effects of c-suPAR. Its capability to mobilize HSCs suggests potential clinical applications in HSC transplantation.

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