Differential effects of BAFF on B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia and Burkitt lymphoma

Int J Hematol. 2010 Jun;91(5):808-19. doi: 10.1007/s12185-010-0567-z. Epub 2010 Apr 29.


B cell-activating factor belonging to the tumor necrosis factor superfamily (BAFF) is a crucial factor for B cell development and is involved in the survival of malignant B cells, but its effect on B cell precursors (BCPs) remains unclear. We investigated BCP acute lymphoblastic leukemia (-ALL) cells for BAFF receptor (-R) expression and compared the effect of BAFF on BCP-ALL cells and Burkitt lymphoma (BL) cells. Expression of BAFF-R was detected in some cell lines and some clinical specimens of both BL and BCP-ALL. BAFF acted on both BL and BCP-ALL cells and promoted proliferation by both. BAFF also inhibited apoptosis by BL cells induced by cross-linking of cell surface molecules and anticancer drugs, but failed to inhibit apoptosis by BCP-ALL cells. BAFF induced prompt and obvious activation of the NF-kappaB signaling pathway in BL cells, but only weak and delayed activation of the pathway in BCP-ALL cells. The results of this study indicate that some BCP-ALL cells and some BL cells express BAFF-R, but that the effects of BAFF on BCP-ALL cells are different from its effects on mature B cell malignancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • B-Cell Activating Factor / genetics
  • B-Cell Activating Factor / immunology*
  • B-Cell Activation Factor Receptor / genetics*
  • B-Cell Activation Factor Receptor / immunology
  • Burkitt Lymphoma / genetics
  • Burkitt Lymphoma / immunology*
  • Burkitt Lymphoma / pathology
  • CD40 Antigens / immunology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Leukemic*
  • Humans
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / genetics
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / immunology*
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology
  • Precursor Cells, B-Lymphoid / cytology
  • Precursor Cells, B-Lymphoid / immunology
  • Precursor Cells, B-Lymphoid / pathology*


  • B-Cell Activating Factor
  • B-Cell Activation Factor Receptor
  • CD40 Antigens