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Br J Haematol. 2011 May;153(4):486-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2011.08605.x. Epub 2011 Mar 28.

CD180 functions in activation, survival and cycling of B chronic lymphocytic leukaemia cells.

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School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster, London, UK.


We previously showed that approximately 60% of B chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (B-CLL) cells express surface CD180, an orphan receptor of the Toll-like receptor family. Here we investigated the ability of anti-CD180 monoclonal antibody (mAb) to induce activation, cell cycling, survival and signalling in B-CLL cells and normal B cells. Upon addition of anti-CD180 mAb, alone or in combination with anti-CD40 mAb or recombinant IL-4 (rIL-4), expression of CD86, Ki-67, uptake of DiOC(6) , phosphorylation of signalling protein kinases and Ca(2+) flux were measured in B-CLL cells from untreated patients and normal B cells from age-matched volunteers. Normal B cells and approximately 50% of CD180(+) B-CLL clones responded to CD180 ligation by activation, cycling and increased survival comparable with, or superior to, those induced by anti-CD40 mAb or rIL-4 (Responder B-CLL). Non-responder CD180(+) B-CLL clones failed to respond to CD180 mAb and responded poorly to CD40 mAb and rIL-4. Anti-CD180 mAb induced phosphorylation of ZAP70/Syk, Erk, p38MAPK and Akt in normal B cells and Responder B-CLL cells. In contrast, Erk, p38MAPK and Akt were not phosphorylated in Non-responder B-CLL cells indicating a block in signalling and possible anergy. CD180 may provide powerful expansion and survival signals for Responder B-CLL cells and have an important prognostic value.

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