Clonal heterogeneity of dendritic cells derived from patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and enhancement of their T-cells stimulatory activity by IFN-alpha

Exp Hematol. 1999 Jul;27(7):1176-84. doi: 10.1016/s0301-472x(99)00055-7.


Adoptive immunotherapy in form of donor leukocyte infusions is effective in a significant number of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) that have relapsed after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT). However, the therapy is associated with clinically significant side effects such as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and bone marrow (BM) hypoplasia that may be avoided through the administration of T cells with specific antileukemic activity. Dendritic cells (DC) functioning as potent antigen presenting cells (APC) may play an important role in the generation of T cells with specificity against CML. We examined a subpopulation of CD1a+/CD14- DC generated in vitro from BM of normal subjects and patients with CML using granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-4 (IL-4). These DC derived from both the BM of normal subjects and of patients with CML, differentiated and matured in culture in a similar way. However, DC derived from patients with CML, displayed decreased activity when tested with allogeneic T cells in a mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR). Addition of interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) to DC cultures significantly upregulated the expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules (class I and class II) and costimulatory molecules (B7.1 and B7.2) on DC from normal donors and CML patients. However, DC grown from CML patients required a higher concentration of IFN-alpha. IFN-alpha also significantly improved the capacity of CML DC to stimulate T-lymphocyte responses. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) showed that only some CD1a+/CD14- DC derived from BM of patients with CML expressed the bcr/abl fusion gene. Incubation with INF-alpha decreased the proportion of bcr/abl positive DC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, CD / genetics
  • B7-1 Antigen / biosynthesis
  • B7-1 Antigen / genetics
  • B7-2 Antigen
  • Bone Marrow / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Clone Cells / drug effects
  • Clone Cells / immunology
  • Clone Cells / pathology
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic / drug effects
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / pathology*
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl / analysis
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / pharmacology
  • HLA Antigens / biosynthesis
  • HLA Antigens / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Interferon-alpha / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-4 / pharmacology
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / immunology
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / pathology*
  • Lymphocyte Culture Test, Mixed
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / biosynthesis
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology


  • Antigens, CD
  • B7-1 Antigen
  • B7-2 Antigen
  • CD86 protein, human
  • HLA Antigens
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-4
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl