Thrombopoietin, the endogenous c-Mpl ligand, is a novel lineage-specific hematopoietic factor that plays a pivotal rule in the regulation of megakaryocytopoiesis and thrombopoiesis. In this study, we examined the effects of pegylated recombinant human megakaryocyte growth and development factor (PEG-rHuMGDF), a truncated molecule of recombinant human c-Mpl ligand derivatized with polyethylene glycol, on myelosuppressive chemotherapy- induced thrombocytopenia in mice. We developed a new murine model of thrombocytopenia induced by i.v. injections of mitomycin C (MMC) for two consecutive days. In control mice, platelet counts began to decrease on day 6, reached a nadir of less than 5% of basal level on day 14, and could not recover to basal level by day 26. Administration of PEG-rHuMGDF greatly enhanced recovery of the number of megakaryocyte progenitor cells and the megakaryocytes in bone marrow, and markedly reduced the severity of thrombocytopenia: it also accelerated platelet recovery in a dose-dependent manner in myelosuppressed mice. Mice receiving consecutive administration of higher doses of PEG-rHuMGDF showed no thrombocytopenia but rather had platelet counts being increased over basal level. Although absolute neutrophil counts and red cell counts also were decreased following MMC treatment, administration of PEG-rHuMGDF also improved neutropenia and anemia. Administration of PEG-rHuMGDF on alternate days or once a week after chemotherapy was almost as effective as consecutive administration in improving thrombocytopenia. Combined administration of PEG-rHuMGDF and rHuG- CSF had an additive effect on improvement of thrombocytopenia and neutropenia. These results suggest that PEG-rHuMGDF is a therapeutically effective agent in the treatment of thrombocytopenia associated with chemotherapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas