Etoposide-mediated interleukin-8 secretion from bone marrow stromal cells induces hematopoietic stem cell mobilization

Ka Won Kang, Seung Jin Lee, Ji Hye Kim, Byung Hyun Lee, Seok Jin Kim, Yong Park, Byung Soo Kim

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Background: We assessed the mechanism of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) mobilization using etoposide with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), and determined how this mechanism differs from that induced by cyclophosphamide with G-CSF or G-CSF alone. Methods: We compared the clinical features of 173 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients who underwent autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (auto-PBSCT). Additionally, we performed in vitro experiments to assess the changes in human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs), which support the HSCs in the bone marrow (BM) niche, following cyclophosphamide or etoposide exposure. We also performed animal studies under standardized conditions to ensure the following: exclude confounding factors, mimic the conditions in clinical practice, and identify the changes in the BM niche caused by etoposide-induced chemo-mobilization or other mobilization methods. Results: Retrospective analysis of the clinical data revealed that the etoposide with G-CSF mobilization group showed the highest yield of CD34+ cells and the lowest change in white blood cell counts during mobilization. In in vitro experiments, etoposide triggered interleukin (IL)-8 secretion from the BMSCs and caused long-term BMSC toxicity. To investigate the manner in which the hBMSC-released IL-8 affects hHSCs in the BM niche, we cultured hHSCs with or without IL-8, and found that the number of total, CD34+, and CD34+/CD45- cells in IL-8-treated cells was significantly higher than the respective number in hHSCs cultured without IL-8 (p = 0.014, 0.020, and 0.039, respectively). Additionally, the relative expression of CXCR2 (an IL-8 receptor), and mTOR and c-MYC (components of IL-8-related signaling pathways) increased 1 h after IL-8 treatment. In animal studies, the etoposide with G-CSF mobilization group presented higher IL-8-related cytokine and MMP9 expression and lower SDF-1 expression in the BM, compared to the groups not treated with etoposide. Conclusion: Collectively, the unique mechanism of etoposide with G-CSF-induced mobilization is associated with IL-8 secretion from the BMSCs, which is responsible for the enhanced proliferation and mobilization of HSCs in the bone marrow; this was not observed with mobilization using cyclophosphamide with G-CSF or G-CSF alone. However, the long-term toxicity of etoposide toward BMSCs emphasizes the need for the development of more efficient and safe chemo-mobilization strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number619
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 2


  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Etoposide
  • G-CSF
  • Hematopoietic stem cell mobilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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