M. L. Guzman

Abstracts

1 Molecular Detection of mRNA bcr-abl and Circulating Leukemic Stem Cells CD34+ in Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia and Its Association with Clinical Parameters

Authors: B. Gonzalez-Yebra, H. Barajas, P. Palomares, M. Hernandez, O. Torres, M. Ayala, A. L. González, G. Vazquez-Ortiz, M. L. Guzman

Abstract:

Leukemia arises by molecular alterations of the normal hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transforming it into a leukemic stem cell (LSC) with high cell proliferation, self-renewal, and cell differentiation. Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) originates from an LSC-leading to elevated proliferation of myeloid cells and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) originates from an LSC development leading to elevated proliferation of lymphoid cells. In both cases, LSC can be identified by multicolor flow cytometry using several antibodies. However, to date, LSC levels in peripheral blood (PB) are not established well enough in ALL and CML patients. On the other hand, the detection of the minimal residue disease (MRD) in leukemia is mainly based on the identification of the mRNA bcr-abl gene in CML patients and some other genes in ALL patients. There is no a properly biomarker to detect MDR in both types of leukemia. The objective of this study was to determine mRNA bcr-abl and the percentage of LSC in peripheral blood of patients with CML and ALL and identify a possible association between the amount of LSC in PB and clinical data. We included in this study 19 patients with Leukemia. A PB sample was collected per patient and leukocytes were obtained by Ficoll gradient. The immunophenotype for LSC CD34+ was done by flow cytometry analysis with CD33, CD2, CD14, CD16, CD64, HLA-DR, CD13, CD15, CD19, CD10, CD20, CD34, CD38, CD71, CD90, CD117, CD123 monoclonal antibodies. In addition, to identify the presence of the mRNA bcr-abl by RT-PCR, the RNA was isolated using TRIZOL reagent. Molecular (presence of mRNA bcr-abl and LSC CD34+) and clinical results were analyzed with descriptive statistics and a multiple regression analysis was performed to determine statistically significant association. In total, 19 patients (8 patients with ALL and 11 patients with CML) were analyzed, 9 patients with de novo leukemia (ALL = 6 and CML = 3) and 10 under treatment (ALL = 5 and CML = 5). The overall frequency of mRNA bcr-abl was 31% (6/19), and it was negative in ALL patients and positive in 80% in CML patients. On the other hand, LSC was determined in 16/19 leukemia patients (%LSC= 0.02-17.3). The Novo patients had higher percentage of LSC (0.26 to 17.3%) than patients under treatment (0 to 5.93%). The amount of LSC was significantly associated with the amount of LSC were: absence of treatment, the absence of splenomegaly, and a lower number of leukocytes, negative association for the clinical variables age, sex, blasts, and mRNA bcr-abl. In conclusion, patients with de novo leukemia had a higher percentage of circulating LSC than patients under treatment, and it was associated with clinical parameters as lack of treatment, absence of splenomegaly and a lower number of leukocytes. The mRNA bcr-abl detection was only possible in the series of patients with CML, and molecular detection of LSC could be identified in the peripheral blood of all leukemia patients, we believe the identification of circulating LSC may be used as biomarker for the detection of the MRD in leukemia patients.

Keywords: Biomarkers, Leukemia, Stem Cells, flow cytometry

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