Effect of all trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) on the adhesive and motility properties of acute promyelocytic leukemia cells

Giulia Taraboletti, Patrizia Borsotti, R. G S Chirivi, Veronica Vergani, Anna Falanga, Tiziano Barbui, Raffaella Giavazzi, Alessandro Rambaldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


All trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) induces complete remission in acute-promyelocytic-leukemia (APL) patients. This study investigated the adhesive properties of APL cells for the endothelium and the extracellular matrix, their motility and the effect of ATRA on these functions. Blasts from 7 APL patients adhered to resting and IL-1-activated endothelium, to the same degree as normal PMN. Adhesion was partially mediated by ICAM-1 and, for IL-1-activated endothelium, by VCAM-1 and E-selectin. These cells showed less adhesiveness for the matrix than PMN, although they maintained the same substrate preference: they adhered to fibronectin and thrombospondin, but not to laminin and type-IV collagen. Exposure to ATRA in vitro (1 μM for 48 to 96 hr) increased the adhesiveness of APL cells; this effect was particularly evident in the case of sub-endothelial matrix and fibronectin. A similar increment in adhesiveness was observed when comparing cells from 2 patients before and after treatment with ATRA. APL cells migrated in response to fMLP and motility was increased by ATRA. In conclusion, APL cells were less adhesive to the matrix than PMN, but treatment with ATRA considerably enhanced their adhesive properties. This could be important in determining the efflux of leukemic cells from the bone marrow and their tissue infiltration during ATRA therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-77
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of all trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) on the adhesive and motility properties of acute promyelocytic leukemia cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this