The in-vitro response of CD2-positive acute myelogenous leukemia to proliferation and differentiation inducing agents

S. Thomas Traweek, Jonathan Ben-Ezra, Rita M. Braziel, Carl D. Winberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Acute mixed lineage leukemias (MLL) are a heterogeneous group of acute leukemias that express morphologic and/or immunophenotypic features of more than one hematopoietic cell line. The ontogenetic significance of this mixed lineage expression is unclear. We therefore studied the conviction of the lineage commitment in a group of MLL by examining the in-vitro response of five CD2+ (E-rosette receptor) acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) to a panel of proliferation and differentiation-inducing agents. Three of of the five CD2+ AML were TdT-positive. Antigen receptor gene studies revealed no rearrangements at either the Tβ or immunoglobulin heavy chain gene loci in any case. When blast-enriched cell populations were placed in short term suspension cultures with PHA, IL-2, PHA + IL-2, GM-CSF or TPA, three of the leukemias responded in a similar fashion while the remaining two cases showed no response. In the three MLL that responded to the in-vitro culture manipulations, features indicative of differentiation along the monocytic lineage pathway were observed. This differentiation was most pronounced in the presence of the phorbol ester TPA, and was manifested by loss of CD2 and CD7 expression, continued expression of myeloid antigens, and the development by the blasts of morphologic and cytochemical characteristics of monocytic cells. None of the five MLL showed any evidence of induced maturation along the T-lymphocyte line of differentiation with any of the agents used. rGM-CSF was the only exogenously added agent to induce proliferation; the proliferative response was slight and was seen in only one of the five leukemias. Therefore, the phenotypic expression of CD2 and CD7 in blasts from MLL is not indicative of irreversible commitment to T-lymphocyte development. The in-vitro loss of T-cell antigens in concert with the development of monocytic features in three of the five CD2+ AML in this study suggests the leukemic cells were preferentially committed to a non-lymphoid lineage differentiation pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-440
Number of pages8
JournalLeukemia Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • E-rosette receptor
  • GM-CSF
  • IL-2
  • Mixed lineage leukemia
  • PHA
  • TPA
  • differentiation
  • suspension culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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