Research Article

Ara-C and anti-CD47 antibody combination therapy eliminates acute monocytic leukemia THP-1 cells in vivo and in vitro

Published: May 25, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (2) : 5630-5641 DOI: 10.4238/2015.May.25.15

Abstract

Leukemia stem cells (LSCs) are regarded as the origin of leukemia and its recurrence. Side population (SP) cells possess some intrinsic stem cell properties and contain numerous LSCs. In this study, we examined the prognostic significance of cluster differentiation 47 (CD47) and identified the appropriate target for eliminating LSCs. We determined the percentage of SP cells in a THP-1 cell population and analyzed CD47 expression in different cell subsets. We then explored whether CD47 affected the phagocytic ability of macrophages to LSCs in vitro. Finally, the effect of anti-CD47 monoclonal antibodies, alone or combination with cytarabine, against leukemic cells was evaluated in vitro and in vivo to identify the optimal targets for the treatment of leukemia. We observed an SP sub-fraction at low frequency (1.81 ± 0.99%), which was a likely candidate for LSC enrichment. CD47 was more highly expressed on THP-1 LSCs (P in vitro. Finally, single or combination treatment of THP-1 LSC-engrafted mice with cytarabine and anti-CD47 antibody resulted in targeting of LSCs and depletion of leukemia cells. These findings suggest that CD47 is an antibody target in LSCs and combination treatment with cytarabine and anti-CD47 monoclonal antibody represents an attractive option for the therapeutic targeting of acute monocytic leukemia.

Leukemia stem cells (LSCs) are regarded as the origin of leukemia and its recurrence. Side population (SP) cells possess some intrinsic stem cell properties and contain numerous LSCs. In this study, we examined the prognostic significance of cluster differentiation 47 (CD47) and identified the appropriate target for eliminating LSCs. We determined the percentage of SP cells in a THP-1 cell population and analyzed CD47 expression in different cell subsets. We then explored whether CD47 affected the phagocytic ability of macrophages to LSCs in vitro. Finally, the effect of anti-CD47 monoclonal antibodies, alone or combination with cytarabine, against leukemic cells was evaluated in vitro and in vivo to identify the optimal targets for the treatment of leukemia. We observed an SP sub-fraction at low frequency (1.81 ± 0.99%), which was a likely candidate for LSC enrichment. CD47 was more highly expressed on THP-1 LSCs (P in vitro. Finally, single or combination treatment of THP-1 LSC-engrafted mice with cytarabine and anti-CD47 antibody resulted in targeting of LSCs and depletion of leukemia cells. These findings suggest that CD47 is an antibody target in LSCs and combination treatment with cytarabine and anti-CD47 monoclonal antibody represents an attractive option for the therapeutic targeting of acute monocytic leukemia.

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