Thrombocytopenia after meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) therapy in neuroblastoma patients may be caused by selective MIBG uptake via the serotonin transporter located on megakaryocytes

Thomas Blom, Rutger Meinsma, Franca di Summa, Emile van den Akker, André B.P. van Kuilenburg, Marten Hansen, Godelieve A.M. Tytgat

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review

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Background: The therapeutic use of [131I]meta-iodobenzylguanidine ([131I]MIBG) is often accompanied by hematological toxicity, primarily consisting of severe and persistent thrombocytopenia. We hypothesize that this is caused by selective uptake of MIBG via the serotonin transporter (SERT) located on platelets and megakaryocytes. In this study, we have investigated whether in vitro cultured human megakaryocytes are capable of selective plasma membrane transport of MIBG and whether pharmacological intervention with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may prevent this radiotoxic MIBG uptake. Methods: Peripheral blood CD34+ cells were differentiated to human megakaryocytic cells using a standardized culture protocol. Prior to [3H]serotonin and [125I]MIBG uptake experiments, the differentiation status of megakaryocyte cultures was assessed by flow cytometry. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was used to assess SERT and NET (norepinephrine transporter) mRNA expression. On day 10 of differentiation, [3H]serotonin and [125I]MIBG uptake assays were conducted. Part of the samples were co-incubated with the SSRI citalopram to assess SERT-specific uptake. HEK293 cells transfected with SERT, NET, and empty vector served as controls. Results: In vitro cultured human megakaryocytes are capable of selective plasma membrane transport of MIBG. After 10 days of differentiation, megakaryocytic cell culture batches from three different hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell donors showed on average 9.2 ± 2.4 nmol of MIBG uptake per milligram protein per hour after incubation with 10–7 M MIBG (range: 6.6 ± 1.0 to 11.2 ± 1.0 nmol/mg/h). Co-incubation with the SSRI citalopram led to a significant reduction (30.1%—41.5%) in MIBG uptake, implying SERT-specific uptake of MIBG. A strong correlation between the number of mature megakaryocytes and SERT-specific MIBG uptake was observed. Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that human megakaryocytes cultured in vitro are capable of MIBG uptake. Moreover, the SSRI citalopram selectively inhibits MIBG uptake via the serotonin transporter. The concomitant administration of citalopram to neuroblastoma patients during [131I]MIBG therapy might be a promising strategy to prevent the onset of thrombocytopenia.

Originele taal-2Engels
Artikelnummer81
TijdschriftEJNMMI Research
Volume11
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - 2021

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