Differential regulation of umbilical cord blood and leukemic B cells by interferon-alpha (IFN-α): Observations in cultured cells

István Szegedi, Csongor Kiss, Éva Karászi, György Vámosi, János Szöllosi, Péter Kovács, Ilona Benko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The exact mechanism of the beneficial therapeutic action of interferon-a (IFN-α) in B-cell-lineage malignancies has not been adequately explained. Here we report on the differential effect of IFN-α2b on non-malignant 6 cells of umbilical cord blood and leukemic B-cell lines JY, BL-41 and BCBL-1. Leukemic cell proliferation was characterized by colony assay, whereas apoptosis was investigated by flow cytometry of propidium iodide-stained cells. The degree of differentiation was evaluated by measuring the expression level of Fcγ receptor-II (FcγRII) labeled with anti-CD32-FITC monoclonal antibody using flow cytometry. IFN-α protected umbilical cord blood CD19-positive B lymphocytes from apoptotic cell death in vitro. IFN-α significantly decreased colony formation of all three cell lines, and in contrast to normal cells, induced apoptosis in JY and BL-41 and excessive necrosis in HHV-8 infected BCBL-1 cells. FcγRII was upregulated both in normal and in leukemic B cells as indicated by an increase both in the proportion of CD32-positive cells and the mean fluorescence intensity. From our results it seems that antiproliferative, apoptotic and differentiative effects of IFN-α are interrelated but distinct cellular events, which are differentially regulated in normal, leukemic and virus-infected cells of the B-cell lineage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-163
Number of pages5
JournalPathology and Oncology Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2006


  • Apoptosis
  • B cells
  • Colony formation
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Type II Fcγ receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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