Natural killer cell sensitivity of phorbol ester differentiated tumor cells correlates with disease activity in chronic b lymphocytic leukemia

Totterman, T.H.; Gidlund, M.; Nilsson, K.; Wigzell, H.

British Journal of Haematology 52(4): 563-572


ISSN/ISBN: 0007-1048
Accession: 005959016

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In a prospective study, 16 patients with chronic B-lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) were repeatedly investigated for clinical and laboratory signs of disease activity during a period of 18 mo. The leukemic cells were induced to differentiate in vitro using a phorbol ester, TPA [12-o-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate]. Two differentiation-associated properties of the tumor cells, i.e., the amount of cytoplasmic immunoglobulin (C-IgM) and the increased sensitivity to lysis by natural killer (NK) cells, were expressed in parallel and both parameters were positively correlated with the clinical activity of leukemia. Phorbol ester-induced phenotypic changes of the leukemic cells may be used for the in vitro monitoring of disease activity in CLL. The present markers may also be useful in molecular analysis of B cell differentiation.