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Keywords:

  • Myeloma;
  • Mobilization;
  • SDF-1/CXCR4;
  • VLA4

Abstract

Adhesion molecules and stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1)/CXCR4 signaling play key roles in homing and mobilization of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). Active signaling through SDF-1/CXCR4 and upregulation of adhesion molecules are required for homing, whereas downregulation of adhesion molecules and disruption of SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling are required for mobilization of HSC. We studied the surface expression of CXCR4 very late activation antigen (VLA)-4 and VLA-5 on myeloma cells mobilized with cyclophosphamide and GM-CSF in 12 multiple myeloma patients undergoing HSC mobilization for autologous transplantation. We also studied the plasma levels of SDF-1 in apheresis collection of these patients. We observed a statistically significant decrease in the levels of SDF-1 and surface expression of CXCR4 on myeloma cells in four consecutive apheresis collections compared with premobilization bone marrow specimens. We also observed a statistically significant decrease in surface expression of VLA-4 in myeloma cells in the apheresis collections compared with premobilization bone marrow samples. Furthermore, myeloma cells derived from apheresis collections had decreased adhesion and trans-stromal migration in response to SDF-1, which could be reversed by short incubation with interleukin-6. Hence, mobilization of myeloma cells involves SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling and downregulation of VLA-4.