The occurrence of delayed neutropenia following rituximab is poorly defined and of unknown cause. We hypothesized it may be related to perturbations of stromal derived factor-1 (SDF-1) and granulocyte homeostasis. Late-onset neutropenia (LON) was investigated in 130 patients with untreated aggressive B-cell lymphoma receiving DA-EPOCH (dose-adjusted etoposide, prednisone, Oncovin [vincristine], cyclophosphamide, and hydroxydaunorubicin) chemotherapy with or without rituximab. All patients were in remission and had no known causes for neutropenia. LON occurred in 6 (8%) of 76 patients receiving rituximab and 0 of 54 patients not receiving rituximab (P = .04). The median onset was 175 days (range, 77-204 days) after treatment with a median duration of 14 days (range, 11-16 days). In a subset of 24 patients, a significant correlation was found between rapid B-cell recovery and granulocyte decline over the 6-month recovery period (R = -0.53; P = .04). Rapid B-cell recovery directly correlated with prerecovery SDF-1 levels (R = 0.65; P = .015) and SDF-1 decline (R = -0.67; P = .013) after recovery. Our results suggest that early B-cell lymphopoiesis is important for B-cell recovery following rituximab, and that perturbation of SDF-1 during B-cell recovery retards neutrophil egress from the bone marrow. These findings illustrate the dual role of SDF-1 in human B-cell and granulocyte homeostasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology