The in vivo effects of PIXY321 therapy on human monocyte activity

R. F. Hamilton, S. Vadhan-Raj, M. Uthman, M. Grey, A. Holian

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3 Scopus citations


In this report we describe the time-dependent effects of PIXY321 (a synthetic hybrid cytokine) treatment (500 and 750 μg/m2/day for 14 days) on six sarcoma patients. Blood was taken prior to PIXY321 injection (day 0), on days 1, 7, and 14 of treatment, and 7 days posttreatment (day 21). The number of isolated monocytes quadrupuled by day 7 and sustained a significant increase through day 14. There were significant increases in the percentage of circulating monocytes relative to total mononuclear cells on days 1 and 7 of therapy. There were no significant changes in monocyte cell surface antigens (15 checked), suggesting that the increase in monocyte numbers was not due to increased numbers of immature monocytes. The basal activity of the monocytes was not markedly altered during treatment; however, they were primed for significantly increased phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate-stimulated superoxide anion production and endotoxin-stimulated release of interleukin- 1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) on days of 1 and 7 of therapy. There was a significant increase of IL-1β mRNA levels (unstimulated cells) on days 1 and 7, but TNF-α mRNA levels increased significantly on day 1 only. Consistent with the increase in superoxide anion production, there were increases in monocyte protein kinase C (PKC) levels on all days of therapy. There was a significant increase in PKCIIβ mRNA only on the first day of treatment. All significant changes in monocyte number and function produced by PIXY321 infusion were reversible, as there were no sustained effects on day 21 (7 days after therapy). These results indicate that the effects of PIXY321 may be mediated through up-regulation of PKC resulting in monocytes primed for increased functional activity in response to an appropriate second stimulus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-650
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993


  • PIXY321
  • fusion protein
  • granulocyte-macrophage colony- stimulating factor
  • interleukin-3
  • monocytes


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