Immunostimulatory CpG-oligonucleotides cause proliferation, cytokine production, and an immunogenic phenotype in chronic lymphocytic leukemia B cells

Thomas Decker, Folker Schneller, Tim Sparwasser, Theresa Tretter, Grayson B. Lipford, Hermann Wagner, Christian Peschel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

202 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bacterial DNA and synthetic CpG-oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) derived thereof have attracted attention because they activate cells of the immune system in a sequence-dependent manner. Here we investigated the potential of CpG-ODNs to cause proliferation, cytokine production, and regulation of surface molecules in human B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells. CpG- ODN induced proliferation in both B-CLL cells and normal B cells; however, only B-CLL cells increased proliferative responses when CpG-ODN was added to co-cultures of CD40-ligand transfected mouse fibroblasts (CD40LF) and B cells. Production of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor was detectable at borderline levels, using CpG-ODN as the only stimulus. In contrast, when CpG-ODN was added to co-cultures of B cells and CD40LF, a strong increase In cytokine production occurred in B-CLL cells as well as in normal B cells. The surface molecules CD40, CD58, CD80, CD86, CD54, and MHC class I molecules were up-regulated in B-CLL cells, whereas CD95 expression was not influenced by CpG-ODN stimulation. The same pattern of surface molecule regulation was observed in normal B cells, but up-regulation of CD40 was significantly stronger in B-CLL cells. Costimulation with CpG-ODN and CD40LF resulted in further up-regulation of CD58, CD80, CD86, and MHC class I molecules. In contrast, CD95 expression induced by CD40-ligation was inhibited by CpG-ODN. CpG-ODN activated B-CLL cells acquired a strong stimulatory capacity toward T cells in allogeneic mixed lymphocyte reaction. This effect was completely inhibited by a combination of anti-CD80 and anti-CD86 monoclonal antibody. Taken together, these findings suggest the possible use of CpG-ODN for immunotherapeutic strategies in patients with B-CLL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1006
Number of pages8
JournalBlood
Volume95
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2000

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