Association between Plasma Endothelin-1, Transforming Growth Factor-beta, Fibroblast Growth Factor, and Nitric Oxide Levels and Liver Injury in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Recipients with Persistent Iron Overload after Transplantation

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Aki S. Z., Suyani E., Cengiz M., Ozenirler S., Elbeg S., PAŞAOĞLU H., ...More

BIOLOGY OF BLOOD AND MARROW TRANSPLANTATION, vol.21, no.5, pp.948-953, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Graft-versus-host disease, iron overload, and infections are the major causes of liver dysfunction in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) recipients. We investigated the relationship between serum iron parameters and the levels of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), endothelin-1 (ET-1), and nitric oxide (NO) as predictors of chronic liver injury in 54 AHSCT recipients who survived at least a year after transplantation. Serum samples from patients were obtained for the evaluation of ET-1, TGF-beta, FGF, NO, and nontransferrin bound iron at the first year follow-up visit using commercially available ELISA kits. Patients were categorized depending on serum ferritin and transferrin saturation levels. The parameters were compared between the groups, and survival analysis was also performed. Most of the AHSCT recipients (81.5 %) were in complete remission during the study. After a median follow-up time of 73 months (range, 13 to 109 months), 72.2 % of the patients were alive. Mean serum levels of ET-1, NO, TGF-beta, and FGF were 81.54 +/- 21.62 mu mol/mL, 31.82 +/- 26.42 mu mol/mL, 2.56 +/- 0.77 ng/mL, and 50.31 +/- 32.69 pg/mL, respectively. Nineteen patients (35.2 % of the cohort) had serum ferritin levels higher than 1000 ng/mL. Mean serum levels of ET-1, NO, TGF-beta, and FGF were similar in patients with serum ferritin levels below or above 1000 ng/mL (P > .05). Serum ferritin levels were positively correlated with serum alanine aminotransferase (r = .284, P = .042) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (r = .271, P = .05) levels and were negatively correlated with serum albumin levels (r = .295, P = .034). There was a significant positive correlation between serum transferrin saturation and alanine aminotransferase levels (r = .305, P = .03). Serum ET-1 level was positively correlated with alkaline phosphatase levels (r = .304, P = .026). In univariate Cox regression analysis serum levels of iron parameters, ET-1, NO, TGF-beta, and FGF did not have an impact on overall survival (P > .05). The probability of progression-free survival was also similar in patients with ferritin levels above or below 1000 ng/mL (P = .275). The probability of survival was similar in patients with transferrin saturation =70 % and < 70 % (P > .05). Serum iron parameters showed a positive correlation with liver injury. However, there was no correlation between fibrogenic cytokines and liver transaminases. Our results suggest that iron overload at least with the current levels of ferritin might have a relatively benign course. Prospective randomized trials will guide the actual role of iron chelation in the post-transplantation setting.