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Mol Med. 2000 Oct;6(10):892-902.

The effect of Bcr-Abl protein tyrosine kinase on maturation and proliferation of primitive haematopoietic cells.

Author information

1
Leukaemia Research Fund, Department of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, UK. a.buckle@umist.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) is characterised by the chromosomal translocation resulting in expression of the Bcr-Abl protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) in early stem cells and their progeny. However the precise nature of Bcr-Abl effects in primitive CML stem cells remains a matter of active debate.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Extremely primitive Bcr-Abl fusion positive cells were purified from patients with CML using multiparameter flow cytometric analysis of CD34, Thy, and lineage marker (Lin) expression, plus rhodamine-123 (Rh-123) brightness. Progenitor cells of increasing maturity were examined for cycling status by flow cytometry and their proliferative status directly correlated with cell phenotype. The activation status of a key transcription factor, signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT-5), was also analyzed by immunocytochemistry.

RESULTS:

The most primitive stem cells currently defined (CD34+Lin-Thy+ Rh-1231o) were present as a lower proportion of the stem cell compartment (CD34+Lin-) of CML patients at presentation than of normal individuals (2.3% +/- 0.4 compared with 5.1% +/- 0.6 respectively). Conversely there was a significantly higher proportion of the more mature cells (CD34+Lin-Thy-Rh-123 hi) in CML patients than in normal individuals (79.3 +/- 1.8 compared with 70.9 +/- 3.3). No primitive subpopulation of CML CD34+Lin- cells was cycling to a significantly greater degree than cells from normal donors, in fact, late progenitor cells (CD34+Lin+) were cycling significantly less in CML samples than normal samples. STAT5, however, was observed to be activated in CML cells.

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that no subpopulation of CML stem cells displays significantly increased cell cycling. Thus, increased cycling cannot be a direct consequence of Bcr-Abl PTK acquisition in highly enriched stem cells from patients with CML. In vivo CML need not be considered a disease of unbridled stem cell proliferation, but a subtle defect in the balance between self renewal and maturation.

PMID:
11126203
PMCID:
PMC1949915
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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