To determine whether newer combination cytokine treatment with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and darbepoetin can improve efficacy of stem cell therapy, we evaluated safety and peripheral blood stem/progenitor cell (PBSC) mobilizing effects of combination cytokine in comparison with G-CSF alone in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). We randomized 60 patients with AMI into two groups under 2:1 ratio; combination treatment with darbepoetin and G-CSF (n = 41: Combicytokine group) and the G-CSF alone (n = 19: G-CSF group). After coronary angioplasty, G-CSF was treated for 3 days with dose of 10 μg/kg/day in both groups. Only in the combicytokine group, additional single intravenous injection of 4.5 μg/kg of darbepoetin was administrated immediate after coronary angioplasty. Combination cytokine treatment was well tolerated as was G-CSF alone. PBSCs were obtained by apheresis for intracoronary infusion after completion of cytokine treatment and were analyzed by flow cytometry. The purity of proangiogenic cells was higher in combination cytokine group than the G-CSF group. Specifically, proportion of CD34(+)/KDR(+) endothelial progenitor cells, CD3(+)/CD31(+) angiogenic T cells and Tie2(+)/CXCR4(+) cells in apheresis products were higher in the combicytokine group. These meant that the combicytokine treatment recruited PBSCs in higher purity and fewer unwanted inflammatory cells than G-CSF alone in apheresis products. Combination treatment with darbepoetin and G-CSF is safe and more efficient to mobilize and recruit proangiogenic cells than G-CSF alone in patients with AMI. (
Trial registration: www.ClinicalTrials. gov identifier: NCT00501917).