Pourfarzad F.,University of Amsterdam |
von Lindern M.,University of Amsterdam |
Azarkeivan A.,High Institute for Research and Education in Transfusion Medicine |
Azarkeivan A.,Kariminejad Najmabadi Pathology and Genetics Center |
And 6 more authors.
Haematologica | Year: 2013
β-thalassemia is caused by mutations in the β-globin locus resulting in loss of, or reduced, hemoglobin A (adult hemoglobin, HbA, α2β2) production. Hydroxyurea treatment increases fetal γ-globin (fetal hemoglobin, HbF, α2γ2) expression in postnatal life substituting for the missing adult β-globin and is, therefore, an attractive therapeutic approach. Patients treated with hydroxyurea fall into three categories: i) 'responders' who increase hemoglobin to therapeutic levels; (ii) 'moderate-responders' who increase hemoglobin levels but still need transfusions at longer intervals; and (iii) 'non-responders' who do not reach adequate hemoglobin levels and remain transfusion-dependent. The mechanisms underlying these differential responses remain largely unclear. We generated RNA expression profiles from erythroblast progenitors of 8 responder and 8 non-responder β-thalassemia patients. These profiles revealed that hydroxyurea treatment induced differential expression of many genes in cells from non-responders while it had little impact on cells from responders. Part of the gene program up-regulated by hydroxyurea in non-responders was already highly expressed in responders before hydroxyurea treatment. Baseline HbF expression was low in non-responders, and hydroxyurea treatment induced significant cell death. We conclude that cells from responders have adapted well to constitutive stress conditions and display a propensity to proceed to the erythroid differentiation program. © 2013 Ferrata Storti Foundation.