Thrombocytopenia is a major complication in hematopoietic-acute radiation syndrome (H-ARS) that increases the risk of mortality from uncontrolled hemorrhage. There is a great demand for new therapies to improve survival and mitigate bleeding in H-ARS. Thrombopoiesis requires interactions between megakaryocytes (MKs) and endothelial cells. 16, 16-dimethyl prostaglandin E2 (dmPGE2), a longer-acting analogue of PGE2, promotes hematopoietic recovery after total-body irradiation (TBI), and various angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors mitigate endothelial injury after radiation exposure. Here, we tested a combination therapy of dmPGE2 and lisinopril to mitigate thrombocytopenia in murine models of H-ARS following TBI. After 7.75 Gy TBI, dmPGE2 and lisinopril each increased survival relative to vehicle controls. Importantly, combined dmPGE2 and lisinopril therapy enhanced survival greater than either individual agent. Studies performed after 4 Gy TBI revealed reduced numbers of marrow MKs and circulating platelets. In addition, sublethal TBI induced abnormalities both in MK maturation and in in vitro and in vivo platelet function. dmPGE2, alone and in combination with lisinopril, improved recovery of marrow MKs and peripheral platelets. Finally, sublethal TBI transiently reduced the number of marrow Lin–CD45–CD31+Sca-1– sinusoidal endothelial cells, while combined dmPGE2 and lisinopril treatment, but not single-agent treatment, accelerated their recovery. Taken together, these data support the concept that combined dmPGE2 and lisinopril therapy improves thrombocytopenia and survival by promoting recovery of the MK lineage, as well as the MK niche, in the setting of H-ARS.
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Vol. 196 • No. 3