Effects of interleukin-4 and interleukin-6 on the proliferation of CD34+ and CD34- blasts from acute myelogenous leukemia

Koichi Akashi, Mine Harada, Tsunefumi Shibuya, Tetsuya Eto, Yasushi Takamatsu, Takanori Teshima, Yoshiyuki Niho

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We studied the effects of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-6 on the growth of leukemic blasts from 40 patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Patients were selected on the basis of negativity for a series of B-cell antigens including CD10 and CD19. Twenty-one cases were CD34-positive (CD34+) (> 15% of blasts) and the remaining 19 were CD34-negative (CD34-) (<3% of blasts). IL-4 alone (100 U/mL) could stimulate either DNA synthesis (with >2.0 stimulation index) or leukemic blast colony formation in 24 of 40 AML patients. In the presence of other growth factors, IL-4 showed divergent effects on IL-3-, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor-, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-, or erythropoietin-dependent colony formation. These effects of IL-4 were observed in both CD34+ and CD34- AML cases. IL-6 (100 U/mL) alone could not stimulate DNA synthesis and blast colony formation except for one CD34+ case. On the other hand, IL-6 showed synergistic effects on IL-3- and IL-4-dependent blast colony formation in 10 of 12 and 7 of 9 CD34+ AML cases, respectively. Among CD34- AML cases, such synergism was seen only in 1 of 12 cases for IL-3-dependent colony formation and in 3 of 7 cases for IL-4-dependent colony formation. The divergent effect of IL-4 and the synergistic effect of IL-6 were also observed in purified CD34+ leukemic blast populations, indicating that these phenomena are not mediated by accessory cells. The present study suggests that IL-4, alone or in combination with other growth factors, has divergent effects on the growth of AML progenitors irrespective of the CD34 expression, and that IL-6 acts synergistically with IL-3 or IL-4 on the growth of leukemic progenitors preferentially in CD34+ AML.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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