Increased numbers of circulating granulocyte-monocyte precursor cells (CFUc) have been observed in the peripheral blood of man after antineoplastic chemotherapy. We have developed a canine model to study the biologic significance of this phenomenon for hematopoietic reconstitution following hematopoietically lethal exposure to total body irradiation (TBI). After cyclophosphamide administration, a 16-fold expansion of circulating CFUc numbers was observed during the period of rapid leukocyte recovery that occurred after the chemotherapy-induced leukocyte nadir. We had previously noted this association between leukocyte recovery and CFUc expansion in our human studies. After 900 rad TBI hematopoietic reconstitution was attempted with autologous, cryopreserved collections of peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained either at times of post-cyclophosphamide CFUc expansion (group A, 14 dogs) or without CFUc expansion (group B, 12 dogs). Asd compared to group B collections, group A collections contained 11-fold more CFUc and were 12.5-fold more potent in fostering hematopoietic recovery after TBI. These results suggest that the expansion of CFUc numbers we observed was accompanied by a similar expansion of more primitive hematopoietic stem cell numbers. We conclude that chemotherapy-induced expansion of circulating CFUc numbers appears to be of substantial import in effecting hematopoietic reconstitution--an observation that may be of significance for further studies of autologous hematopoietic reconstitution in man.
R A Abrams, K McCormack, C Bowles, A B Deisseroth