Proinflammatory signaling is a hallmark feature of human cancer, including in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), most notably myelofibrosis (MF). Dysregulated inflammatory signaling contributes to fibrotic progression in MF; however, the individual cytokine mediators elicited by malignant MPN cells to promote collagen-producing fibrosis and disease evolution are yet to be fully elucidated. Previously, we identified a critical role for combined constitutive JAK/STAT and aberrant NF-κB proinflammatory signaling in MF development. Using single-cell transcriptional and cytokine-secretion studies of primary cells from patients with MF and the human MPLW515L (hMPLW515L) murine model of MF, we extend our previous work and delineate the role of CXCL8/CXCR2 signaling in MF pathogenesis and bone marrow fibrosis progression. Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells from patients with MF are enriched for a CXCL8/CXCR2 gene signature and display enhanced proliferation and fitness in response to an exogenous CXCL8 ligand in vitro. Genetic deletion of Cxcr2 in the hMPLW515L-adoptive transfer model abrogates fibrosis and extends overall survival, and pharmacologic inhibition of the CXCR1/2 pathway improves hematologic parameters, attenuates bone marrow fibrosis, and synergizes with JAK inhibitor therapy. Our mechanistic insights provide a rationale for therapeutic targeting of the CXCL8/CXCR2 pathway among patients with MF.
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