Inhibition of the SDF-1alpha-CXCR4 axis by the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 suppresses the migration of cultured cells from ATL patients and murine lymphoblastoid cells from HTLV-I Tax transgenic mice

Akira Kawaguchi, Yasuko Orba, Takashi Kimura, Hidekatsu Iha, Masao Ogata, Takahiro Tsuji, Akira Ainai, Tetsutaro Sata, Takashi Okamoto, William W Hall, Hirofumi Sawa, Hideki Hasegawa
Blood 2009 October 1, 114 (14): 2961-8
Adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) is a T-cell malignancy caused by human T lymphotropic virus type I, and presents as an aggressive leukemia with characteristic widespread leukemic cell infiltration into visceral organs and skin. The molecular mechanisms associated with leukemic cell infiltration are poorly understood. We have used mouse models of ATL to investigate the role of chemokines in this process. Transfer of splenic lymphomatous cells from transgenic to SCID mice reproduces a leukemia and lymphoma that is histologically identical to human disease. It could be shown that lymphomatous cells exhibit specific chemotactic activity in response to stromal cell-derived factor-1alpha (SDF-1alpha). Lymphomatous cells exhibited surface expression of CXCR4, the specific receptor of SDF-1alpha. AMD3100, a CXCR4 antagonist, was found to inhibit both SDF-1alpha-induced migration and phosphorylation of extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2. Investigation of cultured cells from human ATL patients revealed identical findings. Using the SCID mouse model, it could be demonstrated that AMD3100 inhibited infiltration of lymphomatous cells into liver and lung tissues in vivo. These results demonstrate the involvement of the SDF-1alpha/CXCR4 interaction as one mechanism of leukemic cell migration and this may provide a novel target as part of combination therapy for ATL.

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