Restoration of in vitro hematopoiesis in B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia by antibodies to tumor necrosis factor

Rita Michalevicz*, Reuven Porat, Michal Vechoropoulos, Shoshana Baron, Miriam Yanoov, Zwi Cycowitz, Shlomo Shibolet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Hematopoiesis was evaluated in 15 B-CLL patients using the mixed colony formation assay. The mean growth of all types of colonies in B-CLL peripheral blood was significantly lower than that of 10 normal controls (p < 0.05). To investigate whether TNF is the cytokine involved in the reduced growth of hematopoietic progenitors in B-CLL, neutralizing anti-TNF antibodies (anti-TNF Abs) were added to the cultures. Anti-TNF Abs optimized in vitro hematopoiesis in 11 out of 15 B-CLL patients and a significant growth increase in all types of colonies was noted as compared to baseline cultures (p < 0.05). In patients with stage IV disease, the increase in both mixed and erythroid colonies was more prominent than in patients with earlier disease stages. This optimization of growth was also observed in normal control cultures containing accessory cells. However, high TNF levels were measured in conditioned media from CLL patients and suppressed normal bone marrow hematopoietic progenitors growth. In contrast no TNF was detected in normal conditioned media. It is concluded that TNF and other cytokines, among them IL-3, play a role in the regulation of hematopoietic function in some B-CLL cases. These findings may have clinical applicability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-120
Number of pages10
JournalLeukemia Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Israel Cancer Association


    • B-CLL
    • Hematopoiesis
    • TNF
    • anti-TNF antibodies


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