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Leuk Res. 1998 Apr;22(4):379-82.

Release of clonal block in B cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia by engagement of co-operative epitopes on CD40.

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Department of Haematology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, UK.


The clonal cells of patients with B-chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (B-CLL)--which essentially reside in a resting configuration--are characterised by a relative refractoriness to the normal signals for B cell growth and differentiation. Previously it has been shown that, using an in vitro culture system where CD40 is hyper-crosslinked by monoclonal antibody (mAb) held on CD32-transfected mouse L cells, the clonal block in B-CLL cells can be released with a resultant high rate of DNA synthesis ensuing. In the present study, we report that such release can be achieved purely with soluble reagents whereby co-operative epitopes on CD40 are targeted by the combined use of mAb and soluble recombinant CD40L. Substantial levels of DNA synthesis were induced under such conditions in 7/18 patients using CD40-targeted reagents alone and in 16/18 patients in the additional presence of interleukin 4. Possible extrapolation of these findings to novel therapeutic modalities could be envisaged.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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