Resistance of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia cells to interferon-α generated lymphokine activated killer cells

A. P. Jewell*, C. P. Worman, F. J. Giles, A. H. Goldstone, P. M. Lydyard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Recent studies have shown that, when used in early stage disease, interferon-alpha (IFN-a) can produce a fall in the number of malignant cells in the peripheral blood of patients with B-CLL. In this study, we investigated the effect of IFN-a on natural killer (NK) cell and lymphokine-activated cell (LAK) activity in patients with B-CLL. In vitro, IFN-α (500 U/ml for 18 hours) induced LAK activity in patients with B-CLL (27.7 ± 9.9% n = 20), and IL-2 (500 U/ml for 5 days) produced similar activity (35.9 ± 8.8% n = 7). Despite the induction of LAK activity by IFN-a and IL2 in patients with B-CLL, the malignant cells remained resistant to both allogeneic and autologous LAK effectors. NK activity in patients with B-CLL is also low (23.1 ± 7.2% n = 20), and B-CLL cells were resistant to NK cell activity. In cold target competition assays, CLL cells did not compete with labelled K562 or Daudi targets in the NK and LAK assays, suggesting that the malignant cells are not recognised by the effector cells, and this may be related to low level of expression of the adhesion receptors, LFA-1 and ICAM-1. Finally, CLL cells were also resistant to antibody dependent cell mediated cytotoxicity, but were susceptible to antibody dependent complement mediated lysis. These results suggest that it is unlikely that the effects of IFN-α in B-CLL are due to the enhancement of NK or LAK activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-480
Number of pages8
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1992


  • CLL
  • Interferon-alpha
  • LAK cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Resistance of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia cells to interferon-α generated lymphokine activated killer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this