Hematopoietic rescue via T-cell-dependent, endogenous granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor induced by the pineal neurohormone melatonin in tumor-bearing mice

Published on Tuesday, 26 April 2016


We investigated whether melatonin can affect tumor growth and/or hematopoiesis in mice transplanted with Lewis lung carcinoma and treated with cyclophosphamide or etoposide.

These agents were injected i.p. for 5 days at two different cumulative doses (cyclophosphamide, 40 and 160 mg/kg body weight; etoposide, 20 and 40 mg/kg body weight) from day 8 through day 12 after tumor transplantation. Melatonin was injected s.c. at a dose of 1 mg/kg body weight/day, from day 8 throughout the experiments and from days 8 through 12 or from day 13 onwards.

Melatonin did not influence tumor growth but selectively counteracted bone marrow toxicity when administered together with the cancer chemotherapy compounds without interfering with their anticancer action.

In vitro, melatonin proved to counteract apoptosis in bone marrow cells incubated with etoposide. Such protection was reflected by an increased frequency of granulocyte/macrophage-colony forming units but not of the pluripotent spleen-colony forming units.

The effect of melatonin was neutralized by anti-granulocyte/macrophage-colony-stimulating factor monoclonal antibodies. When athymic, T-cell-deficient mice were used as bone marrow donors, melatonin did not exert any protective effect.

This suggested that melatonin is able to stimulate the endogenous production of granulocyte/macrophage-colony-stimulating factor via bone marrow T-cells.

Due to the well known lack of toxic and undesirable side effects of melatonin, these findings might have a straightforward clinical application.



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See also:

- About Melatonin;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients with low performance status;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in chemotherapy-pretreated patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma and low performance status.