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Palomo M, Diaz-Ricart M, Rovira M, Escolar G, Carreras E

Defibrotide prevents the activation of macrovascular and microvascular endothelia caused by soluble factors released to blood by autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.. 2011 Apr;17(4):497-506, PMID: 21126597

Endothelial activation and damage occur in association with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Several of the early complications associated with HSCT seem to have a microvascular location. Through the present study, we have characterized the activation and damage of endothelial cells of both macro (HUVEC) and microvascular (HMEC) origin, occurring early after autologous HSCT, and the potential protective effect of defibrotide (DF). Sera samples from patients were collected before conditioning (Pre), at the time of transplantation (day 0), and at days 7, 14, and 21 after autologous HSCT. Changes in the expression of endothelial cell receptors at the surface, presence and reactivity of extracellular adhesive proteins, and the signaling pathways involved were analyzed. The expression of ICAM-1 at the cell surface increased progressively in both HUVEC and HMEC. However, a more prothrombotic profile was denoted for HMEC, in particular at the time of transplantation (day 0), reflecting the deleterious effect of the conditioning treatment on the endothelium, especially at a microvascular location. Interestingly, this observation correlated with a higher increase in the expression of both tissue factor and von Willebrand factor on the extracellular matrix, together with activation of intracellular p38 MAPK and Akt. Previous exposure and continuous incubation of cells with DF prevented the signs of activation and damage induced by the autologous sera. These observations corroborate that conditioning treatment in autologous HSCT induces a proinflammatory and a prothrombotic phenotype, especially at a microvascular location, and indicate that DF has protective antiinflammatory and antithrombotic effects in this setting.


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