Expression and functional role of the p75 interleukin 2 receptor chain on leukemic hairy cells

L. Trentin, R. Zambello, C. Benati, M. Cassatella, C. Agostini, P. Bulian, F. Adami, G. Carra, G. Pizzolo, G. Semenzato

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Hairy cell leukemia is a chronic lymphoproliferative disorder characterized by the expansion of neoplastic B-cells expressing the p55 chain of the interleukin 2 receptor (IL-2R) system that is recognized by anti-CD25 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) and binds interleukin 2 (IL-2) with low affinity. In the present study we investigated leukemic hairy cells (HC) for the presence of the p75 IL-2R chain which binds IL-2 with intermediate affinity and plays a crucial role in transducing the message to the cell. For this purpose, we tested highly enriched leukemic HC from six hairy cell leukemia patients for the presence of IL-2R transcripts and for the expression of the p55 and p75 IL-2R chains on their surface membrane by flow cytometry and immunoprecipitation analyses. The functional role of IL-2 in the regulation of HC proliferation was also investigated. Our results indicate that freshly isolated HC express detectable messages for both the p75 IL-2R and the p55 IL-2R. Flow cytometry analysis demonstrated detectable levels of p75 IL-2R on the HC from all patients tested. A mixture of two specific mAb was able to immunoprecipitate detectable amounts of p75 IL-2R from leukemic HC. When leukemic HC were cultured in the presence of several concentrations of IL-2 a low proliferative response was observed. Moreover, the IL-2-driven proliferation of HC was markedly inhibited by anti-p75 IL-2R mAb and to a lesser extent by anti-p55 IL-2R mAb. These findings provide direct evidence of the expression of different IL-2 receptors on leukemic HC and suggest that these molecules might play a role in leukemic cell growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5223-5228
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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