Exp Hematol 2018 01 12;57:50-59.e6. Epub 2017 Oct 12.
Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster Oncology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; Institute of Laboratory Animal Science, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a stem cell (SC) neoplasm characterized by the BCR/ABL1 oncogene. Although the disease can be kept under control using BCR/ABL1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in most cases, some patients relapse or have resistant disease, so there is a need to identify new therapeutic targets in this malignancy. Recent data suggest that leukemic SCs (LSCs) in CML display the stem-cell (SC)-mobilizing cell surface enzyme dipeptidyl-peptidase IV (DPPIV = CD26) in an aberrant manner. In the present study, we analyzed the effects of the DPPIV blocker vildagliptin as single agent or in combination with the BCR/ABL1 TKI imatinib or nilotinib on growth and survival of CML LSCs in vitro and on LSC engraftment in an in vivo xenotransplantation nonobese diabetic SCID-IL-2Rγ (NSG) mouse model. We found that nilotinib induces apoptosis in CML LSCs and inhibits their engraftment in NSG mice. In contrast, no substantial effects were seen with imatinib or vildagliptin. Nevertheless, vildagliptin was found to reduce the "mobilization" of CML LSCs from a stroma cell layer consisting of mouse fibroblasts in an in vitro co-culture model, suggesting reduced disease expansion. However, although vildagliptin and nilotinib produced cooperative effects in individual experiments, overall, no significant effects of coadministered vildagliptin over nilotinib or imatinib treatment alone were seen on the engraftment of CML cells in NSG mice. Gliptins may be interesting drugs in the context of CML and nilotinib therapy, but our preclinical studies did not reveal a major cooperative effect of the drug-combination vildagliptin + nilotinib on engraftment of CML cells in NSG mice.