Phorbol ester induction of plasmacytoid and hairy cell leukemia features in B-type lymphocytic leukemias: the relation to B-cell differentiation and maturation

Gazitt, Y.; Polliack, A.

Blood Cells 12(2): 413-439


ISSN/ISBN: 0340-4684
PMID: 3497682
Accession: 040968195

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Mononuclear cells concentrated from 11 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), 7 with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in leukemic phase (NHL), 5 with hairy cell leukemia (HCL), 1 with prolymphocytic leukemia (PLL), and 1 with plasma cell leukemia (PCL) were induced to differentiate with various doses of TPA. The degree of induction was followed for up to 6 days by measuring the expression of surface membrane markers (SmIg and GP-70) and Ig secretion, the induction of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) and by recording ultrastructural changes as seen by electronmicroscopy. The results show a dose and time dependency of the TPA effect and a great heterogeneity in the cellular response, particularly in cells obtained from B-CLL patients. TPA induced two main features, namely the development of "plasmacytoid" or "hairy cell" leukemia features that clearly depended on the dose and duration of treatment with the phorbol ester. The plasmacytoid features were more frequently encountered with lower doses (1 ng/ml) of TPA and were more evident after shorter exposures to TPA (1-2 days). Nevertheless, the hairy cell features were more striking after incubation with higher concentrations of TPA (10-100 ng/ml) after longer periods of incubation (up to 6 days) with lower doses of TPA. The various features of differentiation measured including cell morphology, surface membrane markers, Ig secretion, and TRAP staining, were frequently independent of each other, suggesting an autonomous pathway of differentiation for some of these features. Furthermore, in most of the cases, hairy cell leukemia features were obtained more frequently following TPA exposure than plasmacytic changes.