European Cytokine Network


Revisiting emergency anti-apoptotic cytokinotherapy: erythropoietin synergizes with stem cell factor, FLT-3 ligand, trombopoietin and interleukin-3 to rescue lethally-irradiated mice Volume 23, issue 2, June 2012


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Institut de recherche biomédicale des armées, CRSSA, Department of Radiobiology, Cell Therapy Unit

We have re-evaluated the benefit of using erythropoietin (Epo) as a pleiotropic cytokine to counteract hematological and extra-hematological toxicity following lethal irradiation. B6D2F1 mice were exposed to a dose of 9 Gy gamma radiation resulting in 90% mortality at 30 days, and then injected with stem cell factor, FLT-3 ligand, thrombopoietin and interleukin-3 [ i.e. SFT3] at two and 24 hours with or without Epo (1,000 IU/kg) at 2 hours and day 8. As controls, two groups of irradiated mice were given only Epo or Phosphate-buffered saline. Epo synergized with SFT3 to rescue lethally-irradiated mice from radiation-induced death (survival: 60%, 95% and 5% respectively for SFT3, SFT3+Epo and controls at 30 days, p<0.05), whereas Epo alone exhibited no protective effect. Hematopoietic parameters did not differ significantly between SFT3 and SFT3+Epo groups during the animal death period. Some beneficial effects on gastro-intestinal toxicity were noticed following administration of Epo, although lung, liver and kidney were not protected. Further studies are necessary to understand fully the mechanisms involved in these effects of Epo in order to optimize treatment with cytokines following high-dose irradiation.