Evidence for a role of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) in the anemia of myelodysplastic syndromes

Diana Campioni, Paola Secchiero, Federica Corallini, Elisabetta Melloni, Silvano Capitani, Francesco Lanza, Giorgio Zauli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are characterized by impaired erythropoiesis, possibly caused by proapoptotic cytokines. We focused our study on the cytokiue TRAIL (TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand), which has been shown to exhibit an anti-differentiation activity on erythroid maturation. Immunocytochetnical analysis of bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMC) showed an increased expression of TRAIL in MDS patients with respect to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients and normal BM donors. TRAIL expression was increased predominantly in myeloid precursors of granulocytic lineage and in a subset of monocytes and pro-erythroblasts. Significant levels of soluble TRAIL were released in 21 of 68 BMMC culture supernatants from MDS patients. On the other hand, TRAIL was detected less frequently in the culture supernatants of AML (4 of 33) and normal BMMC (0 of 22). Analysis of peripheral blood parameters revealed significantly lower levels of peripheral red blood cells and hemoglobin in the subset of patients whose BMMC released TRAIL in culture supernatants compared to the subgroup of patients who did not release TRAIL. Moreover, TRAIL-positive BMMC culture supernatants inhibited the differentiation of normal glycophorin A+ erythroblasts generated in serum-free liquid phase. Thus, increased expression and release of TRAIL at the bone marrow level is likely to impair erythropoiesis and to contribute to the degree of anemia, the major clinical feature of MDS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-563
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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