Purpose: In view of the pleomorphic role cytokines play in human lymphoproliferative disorders, we investigated the possible involvement of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) in hairy cell leukemia (HCL). Patients and Methods: The levels of TNF were measured in the serum of untreated patients, and in the culture supernatants of unstimulated and stimulated enriched hairy cells (HC). Furthermore, the presence of TNF mRNA transcripts in HC was analyzed. The possibility that HC could inhibit the in vitro growth of normal erythroid progenitors via the release of TNF was also investigated. Finally, in an attempt to correlate the circulating levels of TNF with the course of the disease, these were retested during and after treatment with interferon-alpha (IFN). Results: Significantly increased levels of TNF were found in the sera of untreated HCL patients compared with normal control sera were seen from patients with other diseases (P <.001), with values greater than 10 pg/mL in 21 of 42 samples tested. A significant decrease (P <.01) of TNF levels was recorded following IFN-2a administration in 16 cases with detectable pretreatment serum levels of TNF. In two cases, an increase in TNF values was associated with persistence or progression of disease. The likelihood that the circulating levels of TNF were caused by the pathologic cells is supported by the evidence that purified HC may release TNF spontaneously. The values can be markedly increased following in vitro activation with the phorbol ester 12-0-tetrade-canoylphorbol-13 acetate (PMA), with B-cell growth factor (BCGF), and, to a further extent, with the combination of PMA and BCGF. Furthermore, the constitutive mRNA for TNF was found in seven of eight HC samples analyzed. Although supernatants of enriched HC, were capable of reducing the growth of normal bone marrow erythroid progenitors by 50%, duplicate experiments using an anti-TNF antibody produced an almost complete disappearance of the inhibitory effect. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that TNF plays an important role in the pathogenesis of the cytopenia(s) characteristically associated with HCL.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Oncology|
|Publication status||Published - 1992|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research