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Blood. 2008 Apr 1;111(7):3439-41. doi: 10.1182/blood-2007-09-112052. Epub 2008 Jan 14.

Increased numbers of circulating hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells are chronically maintained in patients treated with the CD49d blocking antibody natalizumab.

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Department of Medicine/Hematology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.


Blockade of CD49d-mediated lymphocyte trafficking has been used therapeutically for certain autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition to negative effects on the trafficking of mature lymphocytes to sites of inflammation, CD49d blockade in mice and monkeys rapidly mobilizes hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) capable of short- and long-term engraftment. Here we aimed to ascertain the effects of treatment with antifunctional anti-CD49d antibody in humans (MS patients receiving infusions of the CD49d-blocking antibody natalizumab) on levels of circulating HSPCs after a single dose of antibody or after long-term treatment. On average, 6-fold elevated levels of circulating CD34+ cells and colony-forming unit-culture (CFU-C) were achieved within 1 day of the first dose of natalizumab, and similar levels were continuously maintained under monthly natalizumab infusions. The blood of natalizumab-treated subjects also contained SCID-repopulating cells. The fate of these circulating HSPCs and their clinical relevance for MS patients remains to be determined.

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