Myelosuppressive cytokines, in particular IFN-γ and TNF-α, play an important role in the pathogenesis of idiopathic aplastic anemia in humans. It is unknown whether these negative regulators of hemopoiesis suppress stem cells by activating a common signaling cascade or via distinct nonoverlapping pathways. In this study, we provide evidence that a common element in signaling for IFN-γ and TNF-α in human hemopoietic progenitors is the p38/MapKapK-2 signaling cascade. Our studies indicate that pharmacological inhibition of p38 reverses the suppressive effects of IFN-γ and TNF-α on normal human bone marrow-derived erythroid and myeloid progenitors. Most importantly, inhibition of p38 strongly enhances hemopoietic progenitor colony formation from aplastic anemia bone marrows in vitro. Thus, p38 appears to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of aplastic anemia, suggesting that selective pharmacological inhibitors of this kinase may prove useful in the treatment of aplastic anemia and other cytokine-mediated bone marrow failure syndromes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy