Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The very unexpected life and death of a leukemic cell

11.02.2005


B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is an incurable disease in which cells in the bone marrow grow and survive to the point where they become abnormal and malignant (leukemic). The progression of the disease is slow and there has been a lack of information regarding the rate of production of CLL cells, and the time-course of their death.



For years, doctors and scientists believed that CLL was a static disease of long-lived lymphocytes -- that the leukemia cells were both immortal and born at a slow rate, causing the slow rise in cell count over time. But researchers had been unable to find any problems with the programmed cell death machinery in CLL cells. This was a hint that perhaps the leukemia cells were not immortal, a hypothesis tested by Nicholas Chiorazzi and colleagues in a paper appearing online on February 10 in advance of publication in the March 1 print edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. This new study shows that leukemia cells are born at a fast rate and do indeed die. The slow rise in the cell count over time can be attributed to the difference between the birth and death rates of the cells, according to the study.

The researchers at the Institute for Medical Research at North Shore-LIJ analyzed the kinetics of CLL cells in vivo by employing a non-radioactive labeling technique – using "heavy water" to track cell production. Heavy water is made using a form of hydrogen that has twice its normal mass, making the water molecule "heavier" than normal. The special hydrogen serves as a tag that enables researchers to track the utilization of water in the body. The hydrogen incorporates into glucose and the tagged glucose eventually makes its way into the cell’s DNA.


Researchers gave 19 individuals with CLL a small dose of heavy water every day for 84 days, and the tagged water was incorporated into the DNA of the leukemia cells. This provided the researchers a way to track the cell division, or "birth" of new leukemia cells. Chiorazzi and his team calculated birth and death rates of the leukemic cells and found that, contrary to expectations, production and destruction of CLL cells is highly variable, and does not exhibit a steady birth and death rate as previously thought.

The data also reveal that a correlation exists between the rate at which CLL cells are born and the clinical activity or progression of the disease in a patient. The disease activity may vary over time and this may be the result of fluctuations in birth and/or death rates of the CLL cells.

This challenges the dogma that CLL is a purely accumulative disorder where leukemic cells accumulate because they cannot die. Clearly CLL is a disease in which there is a dynamic interplay between rates of cell division and cell death. The data could enable physicians to predict disease progression.

TITLE: In vivo measurements document the dynamic cellular kinetics of chronic lymphocytic leukemia B cells

AUTHOR CONTACT: Chiorazzi, Nicholas
Institute for Medical Research at North Shore-LIJ Manhasset, NY, USA
Phone: (516) 562-1232; Fax: (516) 562-1683; E-mail: nchizzi@nshs.edu

Stacie Bloom | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.the-jci.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>