[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) induces complete remission in patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). However, ATRA sometimes causes retinoic acid syndrome (RAS) characterized by respiratory distress, pleural effusions, fever and weight gain. To investigate the pathophysiology of RAS, we generated an animal model by injecting an APL cell line, NB4, into immunodeficient mice. When NOD/scid mice were injected intravenously with fully differentiated NB4 cells (1 x 10(7)) and then given a daily administration of ATRA, three of 12 mice died of pulmonary edema within 14 days. Pathologically, dilated lung capillary vessels and alveolar effusions were observed. After the injection, NB4 cells were detected in the lung within 2 days and in the pleural effusion later on. The gene expression levels of CXC chemokines (MIP-2 and KC) and ICAM-1 were increased in the lung and heart by the ATRA administration. In immunohistochemical analyses, MIP-2 was clearly detected in alveolar macrophages of the lung in mice with RAS. Dexamethasone treatment prevented the development of RAS and decreased the CXC chemokine mRNA expression in the lung. These findings suggested that the activation of adhesion molecules for leukocytes and expression of CXC chemokines in the lung are closely involved in triggering RAS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although FLT3 mutations are essentially found in myeloid-lineage leukemia cells, a high level of FLT3 expression was recently observed in MLL gene-rearranged acute lymphoblastic leukemia without FLT3 mutations. Here, we analyzed the biologic and clinical significance of the FLT3 transcript level in comparison with several gene alterations in 181 de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cases. The mean expression level in AML was higher than that in normal mononuclear cells, whereas the range varied widely. A high level of FLT3 is related to internal tandem duplication of the FLT3 gene (FLT3/ITD), the mutations within the activation loop of FLT3 (FLT3/D835Mt), and tandem duplication of the MLL gene (MLL-TD) but not to p53 or N-RAS gene mutations. Furthermore, a high expression level in AML cases with FLT3 mutations was not related to MLL-TD. Overexpressed FLT3 revealed autophosphorylation and had the same sensitivity to the FLT3 inhibitor as FLT3/ITD. Overexpression of FLT3 (more than 200,000 copies/microgRNA) was an unfavorable prognostic factor for overall survival in 91 AML cases without FLT3/ITD. These results indicated that FLT3 overexpression may distinguish a novel disease entity in AML without FLT3 mutations and serve as a therapeutic target for FLT3 inhibitors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prognosis of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in blastic crisis (CML-BC) remains extremely poor, and multiagent chemotherapy regimens commonly used to treat acute leukemia offer only short-term benefits. Therefore, the advent of the novel molecularly targeted anticancer agent imatinib mesylate is a breakthrough in CML therapy. We present a CML patient in megakaryoblastic crisis with severe myelofibrosis, who was treated with imatinib at a dosage of 400 mg/day and achieved complete remission together with a marked regression of myelofibrosis after 1 month. The effect of imatinib on the long-term prognosis remains unclear, although the agent is clearly a promising drug for treating CML-BC even in cases of myelofibrosis.
International Journal of Hematology 12/2002; 76(4):349-53. · 1.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Umbilical cord blood (CB) has been widely used instead of bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood (PB) for stem cell transplantation (SCT). However, problems of sustained immunodeficiency after CB transplantation remain to be resolved. To elucidate the mechanism of immunodeficiency, we compared the characteristics of B cells differentiated in vitro from CD34+ cells of CB with those of PB. Purified CD34+ cells from CB and PB were cultured on murine stroma cell-line MS-5 with stem cell factor and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor for 6 weeks. The B-cell precursors (pre-B cells) that differentiated in this culture system, were analysed as to their immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) variable region gene repertoire and the expression of B-cell differentiation-related genes. CD10+ CD19+ pre-B cells were differentiated from both PB and CB. Although the usages of IgH gene segments in pre-B cells differentiated from CB and PB were similar, the N region was significantly shorter in CB-derived than PB-derived cells. Productive rearrangements were significantly fewer in cells of CB than PB in the third week. Among a number of B-cell differentiation-related genes, the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) gene was not expressed in CB-derived cells during the culture. These results indicated that immature features of pre-B cells from CB, such as lack of TdT expression, and a short N region and few productive rearrangements in the IgH gene, might cause the delay in mature B-cell production.