Expression of functional interleukin-3 receptors on Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells

Donatella Aldinucci, Dalisa Poletto, Annunziata Gloghini, Paola Nanni, Massimo Degan, Tiziana Perin, Paola Ceolin, Francesca Maria Rossi, Valter Gattei, Antonino Carbone, Antonio Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The human interleukin-3 receptor (IL-3R) is a heterodimeric complex consisting of an IL-3-specific α chain (IL-3Rα) and a common β chain (βc), this latter shared with the receptors for granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and IL-5. Despite extensive research on cytokine circuitries regulating proliferation and survival of tumor cells in Hodgkin's disease (HD) the functional expression of IL-3Rs in this pathobiological entity has not yet been investigated. In the present study, we demonstrate that the great majority (>90%) of malignant Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells of classic RD (19 of 19 analyzed cases) express IL-3Rα by immunostaining of frozen sections and cell suspensions from involved lymph nodes. Accordingly, HD cell lines (L428, KMH2, HDLM2, L1236) expressed the α and β chains of IL-3R both at the mRNA and protein level, with a molecular size of IL-3Rα identical (70 kd) to that expressed by human myeloid cells. Exogenous IL-3 promoted the growth of cultured Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells, such effect being potentiated by IL-9 co-stimulation, and was able to partially rescue tumor cells from apoptosis induced by serum deprivation. This data suggests an involvement of IL-3/IL-3R interactions in the cellular growth of HD through paracrine mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-596
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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