Polycythemia vera (PV) treatment with interferon α (IFNα) is frequently limited by dose-related toxicity. PV CD34+ cells are characterized by overexpression of Bcl-xL, which can be antagonized by ABT-737 leading to apoptosis. We explored the effects of ABT-737 and IFNα on PV hematopoiesis. Both IFNα and ABT-737 alone or in combination had a modest effect on normal hematopoiesis but each individually were able to markedly induce PV CD34+ cell apoptosis and suppress hematopoietic colony formation. The inhibitory activities of these agents in combination were greater against PV hematopoiesis than either agent alone. The exposure of PV CD34 + cells to low doses of IFNα and ABT-737 in combination resulted in the reduction of the proportion of JAK2V617F+ colonies similar to that observed with higher doses of IFNα. These data provide the rationale for combination therapy with low doses of IFNα and a BH3 mimetic for patients with PV.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology