Acidic isoferritins (leukemia-associated inhibitory activity) fail to inhibit blast proliferation in acute myelogenous leukemia

R Taetle


Cell-free extracts of bone marrow and blood cells from patients with leukemia contain an inhibitor of normal granulocyte/macrophage progenitor (CFU-GM) proliferation (leukemia-associated inhibitory activity, LIA) identified as acidic isoferritins. A comparison was made of the action of crude LIA prepared from frozen-thawed leukemic blood cells and purified spleen ferritin from a patient with chronic myelogenous leukemia, on the proliferation of blast progenitors from patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), and on the promyelocytic leukemia cell line, HL-60. Crude LIA showed no inhibition of blast progenitor or HL-60 proliferation at low concentrations, but inhibited the proliferation of CFU-GM. At higher concentrations, crude LIA inhibited both blast cells and CFU-GM. Purified spleen ferritin failed to inhibit blast progenitors or HL-60 cells at any concentration tested, but inhibited both 70-day and 14-day CFU-GM. Using the thymidine “suicide„ technique, the action of LIA was confirmed as being on CFU-GM in S-phase, but it failed to affect the proliferation of blast cell in S-phase. It is concluded that acidic isoferritins inhibit normal CFU-GM but not blast cells from patients with AML. Acidic isoferritins could confer a proliferative advantage of the leukemic clone over its normal counterparts.