In vitro effects of native human acute myelogenous leukemia blasts on fibroblasts and osteoblasts.
Bone marrow stromal cells constitute a heterogeneous population, and in the present study we investigated intercellular crosstalk via release of soluble mediators between native human AML blasts and fibroblasts/osteoblasts. Coculture of nonleukemic stromal cells and AML blasts separated by a semipermeable membrane decreased proliferation of the fibroblast line HFL1, and the inhibition was maintained when HFL1 and AML cells were cultured in direct contact. A similar inhibitory effect was observed for osteoblastic sarcoma cell lines (Cal72, SJSA-1) and normal osteoblasts. GM-CSF was released by both nonleukemic cells and a subset of AML blast populations, and increased levels of GM-CSF were detected in AML cocultures with fibroblasts and osteoblastic sarcoma cells when testing AML cell populations with constitutive GM-CSF release. Furthermore, constitutive IL-1beta secretion by AML blasts was detected only for a subset of patients, whereas relatively high levels of IL-1RA were observed for all patients; coculture of AML blasts with HFL1 fibroblasts and osteoblastic sarcoma cells increased IL-1beta levels for patients with constitutive IL-1beta secretion, whereas IL-1RA levels were slightly decreased but still generally higher than IL-1beta levels (tested only for HFL1 fibroblasts). The bidirectional crosstalk between AML blasts and stromal cells with increased release of AML growth factors may be important in leukemogenesis, whereas the decreased stromal cell proliferation combined with the persistent release of IL-1RA may in addition inhibit remaining normal hematopoiesis and thereby contribute to bone marrow failure in AML.
Switching leukemia cell phenotype between life and death.
Divergent life or death responses of a cell can be controlled by a single cytokine (tumor necrosis factor alpha, TNF) via the signaling pathways that respond to activation of its two receptors (TNFR1 and TNFR2). Here, we show that the choice of life or death can be controlled by manipulation of TNFR signals. In human erythroleukemia patient myeloid progenitor stem cells (TF-1) as well as chronic myelogenous leukemia cells (K562), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor primes cells for apoptosis. These death-responsive cells show prolonged TNF stimulation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, but no NF-kappaB transcriptional activity as a consequence of receptor-interacting protein degradation by caspases. Conversely, cells of a proliferative phenotype display antiapoptotic NF-kappaB responses that antagonize c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase stress kinase effects. These proliferative effects of TNF are apparently due to enhanced basal expression of the caspase-8/FLICE-inhibitory protein FLIP. Manipulation of the NF-kappaB, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, or p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signals switches leukemia cells from a proliferative to an apoptotic phenotype; consequently, these highly proliferative cells die rapidly. In addition, sodium salicylate mimics the death phenotype signals and causes selective destruction of leukemia cells. These findings reveal the signaling mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of human leukemia cell life/death switching. Additionally, through knowledge of the signals that control TNF life/death switching, we have identified several therapeutic targets for selectively killing these cells.
Imatinib as a paradigm of targeted therapies.
Imatinib (Gleevec) exemplifies the successful development of a rationally designed, molecularly targeted therapy for the treatment of a specific cancer. This article reviews the identification of the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase as a therapeutic target in chronic myeloid leukemia and the steps in the development of an agent to specifically inactivate this abnormality. The clinical trials results are reviewed along with a description of resistance mechanisms. As imatinib also inhibits the tyrosine kinase activity of KIT and the platelet-derived growth factor receptors, the extension of imatinib to malignancies driven by these kinases will be described. Issues related to clinical trials of molecularly targeted agents are discussed, including patient and dose selection. Last, the translation of this paradigm to other malignancies is explored.
A kayakist trains in the early morning lights prior to the start of the canoeing and kayaking heats for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games