Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Leukoc Biol. 1991 Dec;50(6):580-6.

Effect of interleukin-1, GM-CSF, erythropoietin, and lithium on the toxicity associated with 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine (AZT) in vitro on hematopoietic progenitors (CFU-GM, CFU-MEG, and BFU-E) using murine retrovirus-infected hematopoietic cells.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Lucille P. Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington 40536-0084.


The drug 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine (AZT), a synthetic thymidine analogue, has been used clinically in the management of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The drug is an effective antiviral agent due to its ability to block reverse transcriptase activity. This action of AZT was demonstrated in the Rauscher leukemia virus (RLV)-induced murine erythroleukemia model system. Unfortunately, associated with AZT has been the development of hematopoietic toxicity manifested by anemia, neutropenia, and overall bone marrow suppression. Hematopoietic growth factors (GM-CSF, erythropoietin), cytokines (interleukin-1), and agents known to potentiate hematopoiesis (lithium) have been demonstrated to modulate drug and/or radiation-induced hematopoietic toxicity. We report the results of further studies designed to investigate the ability of GM-CSF, erythropoietin, interleukin-1, and lithium to modulate AZT toxicity on murine hematopoietic granulocyte-macrophage (CFU-GM), megakaryocytic (CFU-Meg), and erythroid (BFU-E) progenitors cultured from bone marrow and spleen cells from mice infected with RLV. Hematopoietic progenitors from either normal or RLV-infected animals when exposed to AZT demonstrated concentration-dependent toxicity and differed for each progenitor with BFU-E being the most sensitive (ID50 concentration, 5 x 10(-9) M) and CFU-GM the least sensitive (ID50 concentration, 5 x 10(-5) M). As has been previously demonstrated using normal murine hematopoietic progenitors, when cultured with RLV-infected marrow or spleen cells, addition of GM-CSF, Meg-CSF or erythropoietin failed to inhibit AZT toxicity in vitro on CFU-GM, CFU-Meg, and BFU-E, respectively. However, in the presence of interleukin-1 (recombinant human IL-1 alpha, 30 ngm) or lithium chloride (ultra-pure, 1.0 mM), AZT toxicity CFU-GM, CFU-Meg, and BFU-E cultured from RLV-infected marrow or spleen cells was reduced. These results further demonstrate interleukin-1 and lithium are effective in modulating the toxic action of AZT on hematopoietic progenitors and that RLV-infected animals serve as a useful viral model system to study the effect of agents capable of modulating hematopoiesis in the presence of the anti-viral drug AZT.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk