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Chronic lymphocytic leukemia of Eμ-TCL1 transgenic mice undergoes rapid cell turnover that can be offset by extrinsic CD257 to accelerate disease progression

Moores Cancer Center, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
Blood (Impact Factor: 10.43). 09/2009; 114(20):4469-76. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2009-06-230169
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Results of heavy-water labeling studies have challenged the notion that chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) represents an accumulation of noncycling B cells. We examined leukemia cell turnover in Emu-TCL1 transgenic (TCL1-Tg) mice, which develop a CLL-like disease at 8 to 12 months of age. We found that leukemia cells in these mice not only had higher proportions of proliferating cells but also apoptotic cells than did nonleukemic lymphocytes. We crossed TCL1-Tg with BAFF-Tg mice, which express high levels of CD257. TCL1 x BAFF-Tg mice developed CLL-like disease at a significantly younger age and had more rapid disease progression and shorter survival than TCL1-Tg mice. Leukemia cells of TCL1 x BAFF-Tg mice had similar proportions of proliferating cells, but fewer proportions of dying cells, than did the CLL cells of TCL1-Tg mice. Moreover, leukemia cells from either TCL1 x BAFF-Tg or TCL1-Tg mice produced more aggressive disease when transferred into BAFF-Tg mice than into wild-type (WT) mice. Neutralization of CD257 resulted in rapid reduction in circulating leukemia cells. These results indicate that the leukemia cells of TCL1-Tg mice undergo high levels of spontaneous apoptosis that is offset by relatively high rates of leukemia cell proliferation, which might allow for acquisition of mutations that contribute to disease evolution.

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