Bone marrow toxicity is a dose-limiting side effect of chloroethylnitrosourea (CNU) chemotherapeutic alkylating agents. A major determinant of CNU cytotoxicity is the methylation of guanine at the O6-position and the subsequent formation of interstrand DNA cross-links. O6-Methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) removes alkyl groups from the O6 position of guanine and has been shown to repair CNU-induced DNA damage. We have previously demonstrated that transplantation of murine bone marrow cells transduced with a recombinant retroviral vector expressing MGMT via the human phosphoglycerate kinase promoter (PGK-MGMT) protects animals in vivo from acute myelotoxicity associated with CNU treatment. In the present study, we examined the effects of 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU), a commonly used CNU, on long term recovery of the lymphoid compartment, including thymus reconstitution, peripheral T and B cell populations, and lymphocyte mitogen responses in mice reconstituted with PGK-MGMT-transduced hemopoietic cells. Mice transplanted with either mock-infected control or PGK-MGMT-transduced stem cells were treated with five weekly doses of BCNU. Analysis of the lymphoid compartment demonstrated significant damage 3 mo after the last BCNU dose in control animals. In contrast, the profound deficiency in CD4+CD8+ double-positive thymocytes and mature lymphocytes observed in control mice surviving BCNU treatment was completely reversed in mice transplanted with PGK-MGMT-transduced bone marrow and was associated with molecular evidence of in vivo selection of transduced cells in the lymphoid compartment. Thus, long term immunodeficiency following CNU therapy may be prevented by genetic modification of murine hemopoietic stem cells with MGMT, leading to significant improvement in post-transplant immune function.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Jan 15 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy