Methotrexate (MTX) is an effective antitumor agent that has been demonstrated to be particularly useful in the treatment of hematopoietic neoplasms but causes substantial hematologic and gastrointestinal toxicity. We previously demonstrated that transplantation with transgenic marrow expressing drug-resistant dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) into animals preconditioned by irradiation substantially protected recipient mice from the toxic side effects of methotrexate administration. Here we test the use of methotrexate itself as a preconditioning agent for engraftment of drug-resistant transgenic marrow, subsequently conferring drug resistance upon recipient animals. Administration of methotrexate beginning 1 or 2 weeks prior to or on the same day as transplantation with drug-resistant DHFR transgenic marrow did not allow sufficient engraftment to confer drug resistance to most unirradiated recipients. A small number of animals were curiously protected from lethal MTX toxicity but exhibited extremely low hematocrits and were not engrafted with stem cells, as indicated by low engraftment levels assessed in secondary transplant recipients. However, we subsequently found that MTX preconditioning allowed sufficient engraftment of DHFR transgenic marrow to confer drug resistance if MTX administration was withdrawn at the time of bone marrow transplantation (BMT) and withheld until 2 weeks post-transplant. Quantitative molecular analysis of primary and secondary recipients indicated a stem cell engraftment level of approximately 1%, consistent with previous studies demonstrating that a low level of DHFR transgenic cell engraftment was sufficient to confer drug resistance in recipient animals. We conclude that MTX can be used as a preconditioning agent for subsequent engraftment of hematopoietic stem cells, in this case conferring resistance to MTX.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics|
|State||Published - Aug 2005|