High IL-21 receptor expression and apoptosis induction by IL-21 in follicular lymphoma.

Research paper by Norihiko N Akamatsu, Yasuaki Y Yamada, Hiroo H Hasegawa, Koki K Makabe, Ryutaro R Asano, Izumi I Kumagai, Ken K Murata, Yoshitaka Y Imaizumi, Kunihiro K Tsukasaki, Kazuto K Tsuruda, Kazuyuki K Sugahara, Sunao S Atogami, Katsunori K Yanagihara, Shimeru S Kamihira

Indexed on: 13 Jul '07Published on: 13 Jul '07Published in: Cancer Letters


We surveyed IL-21 receptor (IL-21R) in leukemia and lymphoma and found that follicular lymphoma cells showed exceptionally high IL-21R expression. Notably, IL-21 showed divergent effects depending on the cell origin: growth stimulation in Burkitt lymphoma cell lines and adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma cell lines but induction of apoptosis in B lymphoma cell lines with t(14;18)(q32;q21), a marker karyotype of follicular lymphoma. IL-21 activated caspase-8 and -3 and reduced mitochondrial membrane potential. More importantly, IL-21 decreased Bcl-2 expression but increased Bax expression. These results support a new therapeutic approach using the IL-21/IL-21R system in follicular lymphoma.