Multiple and heterogeneous patterns of cytokine production in 18 leukemia and in vitro transformed mature T cell lines reflect the individuality of human leukemias.
The relationship between cytokine production patterns and immunophenotype marker profiles was studied in a panel of 18 T cell lines originating from various types of hematological malignancies and from human T cell lymphotropic virus-I (HTLV-I)-transformed cells. The production of 11 different cytokines by both unstimulated and phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated cells was tested. The production of interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1 alpha), IL-2, IL-3/granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), TNF-beta and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) by some of the cell lines was detected, and no cell line produced IL-1 beta or IFN-alpha. All 4 cell lines producing IL-1 alpha also produced other inflammatory cytokines, namely, IL-6, TNF-alpha and TNF-beta, but they did not produce IL-2. The IL-1 alpha-producing cell lines had the phenotype of mature, activated T cells, regardless of leukemia or transformant origin (TdT-, CD4+, CD8-, IL-2R+, HLA-DR+) and all were HTLV-1+. However, the production of other cytokines followed a random distribution, and no relationship emerged between cytokine production patterns and alpha/beta or gamma/delta type of T cell receptor (TcR) expression, immunophenotypic marker profiles, or the clinical origin of the cells. These results thus show that human leukemia and HTLV-I-transformed T cell lines can produce a large number of biologically active cytokines and that, except for the association of inflammatory cytokine production with mature activated cells, random patterns of cytokine production reflect the individuality of leukemia cell lines.
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