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Br J Cancer. 2002 Jun 5;86(11):1776-85.

CD10 is a marker for cycling cells with propensity to apoptosis in childhood ALL.

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Servizi di Immunologia Clinica, Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, IST, Genoa, Italy, and Dipartimento di Oncologia, Biologia e Genetica, Università di Genova, Genoa, Italy.


CD10 constitutes a favourable prognostic marker for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Since correlations between CD10, cell cycle and apoptotic abilities were demonstrated in various cell types, we investigated whether differences existed in the cycling/apoptotic abilities of CD10-positive and CD10-negative B acute lymphoblastic leukaemia cells. Twenty-eight cases of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (mean age of 6.8 years) were subdivided into two groups according to high (17 cases, 93.2+/-4.5%, MRFI 211+/-82 CD10-positive cells) or low (11 cases, 11.5+/-6.2%, MRFI 10+/-7 CD10-negative cells) expression of CD10. CD10-positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia cells were cycling cells with elevated c-myc levels and propensity to apoptosis, whereas CD10-negative acute lymphoblastic leukaemia cells had lower cycling capacities and c-myc levels, and were resistant to apoptosis in vitro. A close correlation between all these properties was demonstrated by the observations that the few CD10-positive cells found in the CD10-negative acute lymphoblastic leukaemia group displayed elevated c-myc and cycling capacities and were apoptosis prone. Moreover, exposure of CD10-positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia B cells to a peptide nucleic acid anti-gene specific for the second exon of c-myc caused inhibition of c-myc expression and reduced cell cycling and apoptotic abilities as well as decreased CD10 expression.

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