High levels of expression of wild-type Flt3 characterize many hematopoietic proliferative diseases and neoplasms, providing a potential therapeutic target. Using the c-Cbl RING finger mutant mouse as a model of a myeloproliferative disease (MPD) driven by wild-type Flt3, in the present study, we show that treatment with the Flt3 kinase inhibitor AC220 blocks MPD development by targeting Flt3+ multipotent progenitors (MPPs). We found that daily administration of AC220 caused a marked reduction in Flt3 expression, induction of quiescence, and a significant loss of MPPs within 4 days. Unexpectedly, a robust Flt3 ligand-associated proliferative recovery response soon followed, preventing further loss of MPPs. However, continued AC220 treatment limited MPP recovery and maintained reduced, steady-state levels of cycling MPPs that express low levels of Flt3. Therefore, a finely tuned balance between the opposing forces of AC220 and Flt3 ligand production was established; whereas the Flt3 ligand blunted the inhibitory effects of AC220, the disease was held in remission for as long as therapy was continued. The net effect is a potent therapy indicating that patients with c-Cbl mutations, or those with similarly enhanced Flt3 signaling, may respond well to AC220 even after the induction of high levels of Flt3 ligand.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology