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Leuk Res. 2003 Jul;27(7):583-91.

Expression of TNF receptors and related signaling molecules in the bone marrow from patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Immunology, Aging and Developmental Sciences, Division of Gerontology and Gerodontology, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 1-5-45 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, 113-8519, Tokyo, Japan.


Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are characterized by peripheral blood cytopenias despite hypercellularity of the bone marrow regarded as the result of ineffective hematopoiesis mainly caused by apoptosis. In this study, we examined the role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced apoptosis in the bone marrow cells of MDS patients. The constitutive expression of mRNA for TNF receptors (TNFR), including TNFRI and TNFRII, and the adapter molecules, such as the TNF receptor-associated death domain protein (TRADD), Fas-associated death domain protein (FADD), receptor interacting protein (RIP) and TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF-2) were analyzed by reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR in bone marrow samples from control, MDS and AML cases. In bone marrow cells from refractory anemia (RA) patients, there was a significant increase in TNFRI expression as compared with control subjects. The expression of TNFRII was also up-regulated in RA cases. In contrast, RA with excess of blasts (RAEB), RAEB in transformation (RAEB-T) and AML cases revealed increased expression of TNFRII, whereas the expression of TNFRI was comparable to control subjects. Immunohistochemical staining revealed that the TNFRI, as well as TNFRII of MDS bone marrow was expressed mainly in hematopoietic cells, but not in macrophage-lineage stromal cells at the protein level. An increased constitutive expression of mRNA for TRADD, FADD and RIP and decreased expression of mRNA for TRAF-2 were observed in bone marrow cells from MDS patients, especially from RA patients, as compared with controls, although the differences were not significant. In many of the AML bone marrow samples, strong expression of TRAF-2 mRNA was marked, while expression levels of other proteins were similar to those in control subjects. These data suggested enhanced signaling by the TNFRI-TRADD-FADD pathway and suppressed signaling by the TRAF-2 pathway in RA. Thus, TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis may play a role in ineffective hematopoiesis in "early stage MDS" bone marrow, although the regulatory mechanisms for TNF-alpha-induced signaling would be complicated and not be simply explained only by these pathways.

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