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Single administration of thrombopoietin to lethally irradiated mice prevents infectious and thrombotic events leading to mortality

Mouthon M, Gaugler M, Van der Meeren A, Vandamme M, Gourmelon P, Wagemaker G, Exp Hematol 2001;29(1):30-40


A sufficiently high dose of thrombopoietin to overcome initial c-mpl-mediated clearance stimulates hematopoietic reconstitution following myelosuppressive treatment. We studied the efficacy of thrombopoietin on survival after supralethal total body irradiation (9 Gy) of C57BL6/J mice and the occurrence of infectious and thrombotic complications in comparison with a bone marrow graft or prophylactic antibiotic treatment.Administration of 0.3 ?g thrombopoietin, 2 hours after irradiation, protected 62% of the mice as opposed to no survival in placebo controls. A graft with a supraoptimal number of syngeneic bone marrow cells (10(6) cells) fully prevented mortality, whereas antibiotic treatment was ineffective. Blood cell recovery was observed in the thrombopoietin-treated mice but not in the placebo or antibiotic-treated group. Bone marrow and spleen cellularity as well as colony-forming unit granulocyte-macrophage and burst-forming unit erythroid were considerably increased in thrombopoietin-treated mice relative to controls. Histologic examination at day 11 revealed numerous petechiae and vascular obstructions within the brain microvasculature of placebo-treated mice, which was correlated with hypercoagulation and hypofibrinolysis. Thrombopoietin treatment prevented coagulation/fibrinolysis disorder and vascular thrombosis. High fibrinogen levels were related to bacterial infections in 67% of placebo-treated mice and predicted mortality, whereas the majority of the thrombopoietin-treated mice did not show high fibrinogen levels and endotoxin was not detectable in plasma.We conclude that thrombopoietin administration prevents mortality in mice subjected to 9-Gy total body irradiation both by interfering in the cascade leading to thrombotic complications and by amelioration of neutrophil and platelet recovery and thus protects against infections and hemorrhages.
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