We have previously demonstrated that recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) is involved in the regulation of the angiogenic response in multiple myeloma (MM) through a direct effect on macrophages and endothelial cells isolated from the bone marrow of patients with MM. The aim of the present study was designed to determine the effects of rHuEpo on cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) from monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and MM patients by means of in vitro and in vivo assays. rHuEpo treatment reduces the expression of mRNA levels of fibroblast activation markers, namely alpha smooth actin (αSMA) and fibroblast activation protein (FAP) in MGUS and MM CAFs, and of pro-inflammatory and pro-angiogenic cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8, vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in MM CAFs. Moreover, rHuEpo inhibits the proliferative activity of MM CAFs and increased the apoptosis of MGUS and MM CAFs. Overall, these data suggest that rHu-Epo down-regulates CAFs pro-tumorigenic activity. Moreover, these results are not suggestive for a pro-angiogenic activity of rHuEpo on CAFs. In fact, rHuEpo pre-treatment induces a low angiogenic response in vivo in the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay of MGUS and MM CAFs conditioned medium, not comparable to that of a well-known angiogenic cytokine, VEGF-A, tested in the same assay.
Annals of Hematology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 28, 2018