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Leuk Res. 1995 Jul;19(7):469-76.

AML blasts variably express interleukin 2 receptor alpha, beta or gamma chains without measurable effects on proliferation, cytokine message expression or surface expression of adhesion molecules upon stimulation with interleukin 2.

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Department of Internal Medicine, J.W. Goethe University, Frankfurt/M, Germany.


Preliminary clinical studies including interleukin 2 (IL-2) in chemotherapy strategies for treatment of acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) suggest that IL-2 may improve the disease-free survival of the patients. Because of reports showing interleukin 2 receptor expression on AML blasts, it is important to know whether IL-2 may directly influence these leukemic cells. In initial studies using flow cytometry to analyze surface expression of interleukin 2 receptors (IL-2R), we found expression of the IL-2R alpha chain on blast cells in 26% and of the IL-2R beta-chain in 81% of the patients. To confirm these results at the transcriptional level, we studied the expression of RNA of the IL-2R alpha, beta, and gamma chains by RT-PCR in the bone marrow of 38 newly diagnosed patients with AML and in three AML-derived cell lines. RNA of the alpha chain was detectable in 11/38 patients, the beta chain in 10/38 patients and the gamma chain in 30/38 patients with AML. Blast cells obtained from colonies growing in semisolid media expressed mRNA for IL-2R. RNA for all three IL-2R chains was expressed in lines KG1, HEL 92.1.7 and K562. In comparison with unstimulated cell lines, incubation of the three lines with various amounts of IL-2 over 3 and 14 days did not increase their growth or change message expression of IL-2R, IL-10, and TGF-beta and surface expression of the adhesion molecules CD 11, CD 18, CD 29 and CD 54. In conclusion, despite expression of IL-2 receptors, AML blasts do not respond to IL-2 by proliferation, message expression for various cytokine genes and surface expression of cellular adhesion molecules.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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