Efficacy of Neulasta or Neupogen on H-ARS and GI-ARS Mortality and Hematopoietic Recovery in Nonhuman Primates After 10-Gy Irradiation With 2.5% Bone Marrow Sparing

Health Phys. 2019 Mar;116(3):339-353. doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000878.


A nonhuman primate model of acute, partial-body, high-dose irradiation with minimal (2.5%) bone marrow sparing was used to assess endogenous gastrointestinal and hematopoietic recovery and the ability of Neulasta (pegylated granulocyte colony-stimulating factor) or Neupogen (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor) to enhance recovery from myelosuppression when administered at an increased interval between exposure and initiation of treatment. A secondary objective was to assess the effect of Neulasta or Neupogen on mortality and morbidity due to the hematopoietic acute radiation syndrome and concomitant gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome. Nonhuman primates were exposed to 10.0 Gy, 6 MV, linear accelerator-derived photons delivered at 0.80 Gy min. All nonhuman primates received subject-based medical management. Nonhuman primates were dosed daily with control article (5% dextrose in water), initiated on day 1 postexposure; Neulasta (300 μg kg), administered on days 1, 8, and 15 or days 3, 10, and 17 postexposure; or Neupogen (10 μg kg), administered daily postexposure following its initiation on day 1 or day 3 until neutrophil recovery (absolute neutrophil count ≥1,000 cells μL for 3 consecutive days). Mortality in the irradiated cohorts suggested that administration of Neulasta or Neupogen on either schedule did not affect mortality due to gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome or mitigate mortality due to hematopoietic acute radiation syndrome (plus gastrointestinal damage). Following 10.0 Gy partial-body irradiation with 2.5% bone marrow sparing, the mean duration of neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count <500 cells μL) was 22.4 d in the control cohort vs. 13.0 and 15.3 d in the Neulasta day 1, 8, 15 and day 3, 10, 17 cohorts, relative to 16.2 and 17.4 d in the Neupogen cohorts initiated on day 1 and day 3, respectively. The absolute neutrophil count nadirs were 48 cells μL in the controls; 117 cells μL and 40 cells μL in the Neulasta days 1, 8, and 15 or days 3, 10, and 17 cohorts, respectively; and 75 cells μL and 37 cells μL in the Neupogen day 1 and day 3 cohorts, respectively. Therefore, the earlier administration of Neulasta or Neupogen was more effective in this model of marginal 2.5% bone marrow sparing. The approximate 2.5% bone marrow sparing may approach the threshold for efficacy of the lineage-specific medical countermeasure. The partial-body irradiation with 2.5% bone marrow sparing model can be used to assess medical countermeasure efficacy in the context of the concomitant gastrointestinal and hematopoietic acute radiation syndrome sequelae.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Radiation Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Acute Radiation Syndrome / mortality
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow / radiation effects*
  • Filgrastim / therapeutic use*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / radiation effects*
  • Hematinics / therapeutic use*
  • Hematopoiesis / drug effects
  • Hematopoiesis / radiation effects*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Polyethylene Glycols / therapeutic use*


  • Hematinics
  • pegfilgrastim
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Filgrastim