The bone marrow niche contains different types of cells including osteoblasts and endothelial progenitors, all of which interact and take part in the process of mobilisation. The aim of our study was to evaluate the levels of cytokines (osteopontin and angiopoietins 1 and 2) active in the bone marrow niche during the mobilisation of haematopoietic stem cells for autologous transplantation.
Materials and methods
Forty-eight patients (24 females, 24 males), median age 56.5 years, entered the study. The group consisted of patients with multiple myeloma (n=34), lymphoma (n=13) and acute myeloid leukaemia (n=1). Blood samples were collected before chemotherapy and on the day of the first apheresis. Cytokines were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Additionally, circulating endothelial cells were assessed by flow cytometry.
The median concentration of angiopoietin 1 at the time of apheresis was lower than that at baseline (2.7 vs 7.8 ng/mL, p<0.001). In contrast, the median level of angiopoietin 2 increased during the mobilisation procedure (3.6 vs 2.8 ng/mL, p=0.001). The patients were divided according to the number of days of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor treatment before the first apheresis into “early” (median) mobilisers. The group of “early mobilisers” had higher baseline angiopoietin 1 levels (median=11.6 ng/mL) than those of the “late mobilisers” (median=6.0 ng/mL, p=0.05). An adverse correlation was observed between duration of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor treatment and baseline angiopoietin 1 level. Baseline angiopoietin 1 levels correlated with numbers of circulating endothelial cells. Low angiopoietin 2 level increased the chance of poor mobilisation.
The angiogenic processes can influence the timing of mobilisation. Angiopoietins 1 and 2 need further evaluation in the context of mobilisation.