Cytokine upregulation of the antigen presenting function of acute myeloid leukemia cells

M. W. Boyer, E. K. Waller, R. A. Bray, T. Unangst, T. S. Johnson, C. Phillips, I. Jurickova, E. F. Winton, A. M. Yeager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells are malignant counterparts of normal myeloid pathway progenitors. Myeloid progenitors differentiate into professional antigen presenting cells (APC) under the essential influence of GM-CSF along with additional cytokines. Twelve cases of human AML were tested for ability to be differentiated toward a professional APC phenotype in short-term culture with addition of GM-CSF and the following recombinant proteins: TNFα, IL-4, CD40 ligand, Flt3 ligand and SCF. Significant upregulation of CD80 (B7-1) and enhancement of alloantigen presentation was seen with the addition of GM-CSF and TNFα alone or with additional cytokines. The combination of GM-CSF and TNFα, either alone or in combination with an additional cytokine, resulted in enhancing alloantigen presentation by at least two-fold over the media control group in 10/12 patients studied, and resulted in CD80 expression of greater than 15% in 11/12 patients studied. In AML cultures with GM-CSF and TNFα, coexpression of CD80 and either CD34 or an aberrant surface marker (CD56) was seen. In one case, sorted CD80+ cells retained a characteristic cytogenetic marker and CD34 expression, proving their derivation from an AML precursor. These studies verify other reports of in vitro differentiation of human AML precursors into enhanced APC, suggesting that this phenomenon could be utilized for immunotherapy strategies aimed at enhancing presentation of leukemia antigens to T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-418
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Antigen presenting cells
  • Costimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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