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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Interleukin-9 in human myeloid leukemia cells.

Here we review our recent data addressing the role of recombinant human (rh) interleukin 9 (IL-9) in acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML). We first evaluated the proliferative response of 3 leukemic cell lines and 32 primary samples from AML patients to IL-9 alone and combined with rh-IL-3, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and stem cell factor (SCF, c-kit ligand). The colony forming ability of leukemic cells was assessed by a clonogenic assay in methylcellulose, whereas the cell cycle characteristics of the same samples were determined by the acridine-orange (AO) flow cytometric technique and the bromodeoxyuridine (BRDU) incorporation assay. In addition, the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase Assay (TDTA) and standard analysis of DNA cleavage by gel electrophoresis were used to evaluate induction or prevention of apoptosis by IL-9. IL-9, used as a single cytokine, at various concentrations stimulated the colony formation of the 3 myeloid cell lines under serum-containing and serum-free conditions and this effect was completely abrogated by anti-IL-9 monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs). When tested on fresh AML samples, optimal concentrations of IL-9 resulted in the increase of the blast colony formation in all the cases studied and was the most effective CSF for promoting leukemic cell growth among those tested in this study including SCF, IL-3, and GM-CSF. The addition of SCF to IL-9 demonstrated an additive or synergistic effect of the 2 cytokines in 5 out of 8 AML cases tested for their CFU-L growth (187 +/- 79 colonies in comparison with 107 +/- 32 CFU-L; p = 0.05). Positive interaction was also observed when IL-9 was combined with IL-3 and GM-CSF. Studies of cell cycle distribution of AML samples demonstrated that IL-9 alone significantly augmented the number of leukemic cells in S-phase in the majority of the cases evaluated. IL-9 and SCF in combination resulted in a remarkable decrease of the G0 cell fraction (38.2 +/- 24% compared to 58.6 +/- 22% of control cultures; p < 0.05) and induced an increase of G1 and S-phase cells. Conversely, neither IL-9 alone nor the combination of IL-9 and SCF had any effect on induction or prevention of apoptosis of leukemic cells. Furthermore, in this study, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction amplification (RT-PCR) did not show the constitutive expression of IL-9 mRNA in the cell lines and the AML samples studied at diagnosis. In summary, IL-9 may play a role in the development of acute myeloid leukemia by stimulating the proliferation of leukemic cells perhaps through a paracrine growth loop.[1]


  1. Interleukin-9 in human myeloid leukemia cells. Lemoli, R.M., Fortuna, A., Tafuri, A., Grande, A., Amabile, M., Martinelli, G., Ferrari, S., Tura, S. Leuk. Lymphoma (1997) [Pubmed]
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