Glucocorticoid receptors and glucocorticoid resistance in human leukemia in vivo and in vitro

Adv Exp Med Biol. 1986;196:111-27. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4684-5101-6_8.


Clinical measurements quantitating glucocorticoid receptor sites in leukemic blasts may give useful prognostic information. In childhood ALL, where the most data is available, "high" receptor content in peripheral or marrow blasts correlated with likelihood of remission on therapy, longer durations of remission and better prognosis generally. In lymphomas and CLL as well, high receptor content correlated with likelihood of response to steroid therapy, though the number of studies is less. In AML the correlation with receptor site content is moot, and in other leukemias the reports are less complete. A model system for childhood ALL is provided by CEM cells, a glucocorticoid sensitive human cell line from a patient with the disease. These cells have glucocorticoid receptors which must be filled by hormone for greater than 24 hr for cell lysis to begin. Four types of glucocorticoid resistance have been identified thus far in clones of these cells. Their distinctive properties are described and their relevance to clinical situations briefly discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Drug Resistance
  • Glucocorticoids / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hybrid Cells / analysis
  • Leukemia, Experimental / physiopathology
  • Leukemia, Lymphoid / physiopathology*
  • Lymphoma / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Molybdenum / pharmacology
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Phenotype
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / physiology*


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid
  • molybdate
  • Molybdenum