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Hematol J. 2004;5(4):353-60.

Autocrine pathway of angiopoietins-Tie2 system in AML cells: association with phosphatidyl-inositol 3 kinase.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, Nagakute, Aichi, Japan.


Hematopoietic cells and endothelial cells are mutually correlated in their development and growth. Various angiogenic factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiopoietins (Angs), are thought to be associated with leukemia cell growth. In this study, we examined if the Angs-Tie2 autocrine pathway works in primary AML cells or not by using soluble Tie2-Fc, which inhibits Angs from binding to Tie2 receptor. After 48 h of culture with Tie2-Fc, nine AML cells from 19 examined samples were not influenced by Tie2-Fc (group A), while AML cells from remaining 10 patients demonstrated remarkable reduction of cell number by Tie2-Fc treatment (group B). Tie2 receptor, upon binding to Angs, are known to activate phosphatidyl-inositol 3 kinase (PI3 kinase). Then, we examined the effect of LY294002, a potent PI3 kinase inhibitor, on primary AML cells. Cell number reduction effect by the treatment of LY294002 was much more prominent in cells of group B than of group A. In addition, extent of cell number reduction by Tie2-Fc and LY294002 was quite well correlated. These observations demonstrated that cells from a part of AML were dependent on autocrine Angs-Tie2 pathway. This notion was further supported by the study of two AML cell lines, KG-1 and HL-60: the growth of KG-1 was suppressed by Tie2-Fc, and also by anti-Tie2 antibody, which inhibits receptor-ligand interaction, while that of HL-60 was not suppressed by Tie2-Fc or anti-Tie2 antibody. Our results will help to explore the angiogenesis-oriented or endothelial cell-mediated therapy for leukemia.

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