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Zinc porphyrins: Potent inhibitors of hematopoieses in animal and human bone marrow

By John D. Lutton, Nader G. Abraham, George S. Drummond, Richard D. Levere and Attallah Kappas


The effects of selected heme analogues on heme oxygenase activity in tissues and on human and rabbit bone marrow hematopoietic colony growth were examined. Zinc protoporphyrin (ZnPP) and zinc mesoporphyrin (ZnMP), at concentrations ranging between 1 and 20 μM, produced significant inhibition of human and rabbit bone marrow erythroid (CFU-E, BFU-E) and myeloid (CFU-GM) colony growth. The growth inhibition produced by ZnPP or ZnMP was not overcome with exposure of cultures to elevated levels of the growth factors erythropoietin and granulocyte–macrophage colony stimulating factor. In contrast, tin protoporphyrin and tin mesoporphyrin did not display any significant bone marrow toxicity when used at similar concentrations. In other studies, differential effects of tin mesoporphyrin and ZnMP administered intravenously on kidney heme oxygenase were demonstrated. Chromium mesoporphyrin administered intravenously proved lethal to animals. These results indicate that exposure of bone marrow to ZnPP and ZnMP can be deleterious to hematopoietic cells and raise the possibility that ZnPP, which is endogenously formed and found in high concentration in red blood cells in lead-poisoned children, may itself participate in the bone marrow toxicity produced by this metal

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: The National Academy of Sciences of the USA
Year: 1997
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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