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Blood. 1998 Apr 1;91(7):2231-9.

Anti-VLA4/VCAM-1-induced mobilization requires cooperative signaling through the kit/mkit ligand pathway.

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Department of Medicine/Hematology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


Although a large body of data on mobilization have yielded valuable clues, the mechanism(s) dictating egress of stem/progenitor cells during baseline hematopoiesis and after their mobilization are poorly understood. We have previously provided functional in vivo evidence that cytoadhesion molecules, specifically the beta1 integrins, are involved in mobilization; however, the mechanism by which this was achieved was unclear. To provide further insights into the anti-very late antigen 4 (VLA4)/anti-vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1)-induced mobilization, we used these antibodies to treat mutant mice with compromised growth factor receptor function. We found that mobilization by anti-VLA4 does not depend on a functional granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, interleukin-7 (IL-7), or IL-3alpha receptor. By contrast, the functional kit receptor is required, because W/Wv mice responded minimally, whereas Steel-Dickie (Sl/Sld) responded normally. Both Wv and Sl/Sld mice did not respond to anti-VCAM-1 treatment, in contrast to their +/+ littermates and despite normal levels of VCAM-1 expression in bone marrow cells. The defective response to anti-VCAM-1 in W/Wv mice was corrected after their transplantation with +/+ cells. mev/mev mice showed increased numbers of circulating progenitors before treatment and a heightened response after anti-VLA4 or anti-VCAM-1 treatment. Downmodulation of kit expression was detected in normal bone marrow cells after anti-VLA4 treatment. On the strength of the above findings we conclude that (1) anti-VLA4/VCAM-1-induced mobilization likely requires signaling for stimulation of cell migration; (2) this cooperative signaling involves the kit/kit ligand pathway, and provides a novel example of integrin/cytokine crosstalk; and (3) migration mediated through the kit/kit ligand pathway may be a common contributor to different mobilization stimuli. Dissection of the exact molecular pathways that lead to mobilization remains a future challenge.

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