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Significance of BAFF/APRIL Expression and Their Receptors in Pediatric Patients With Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Sun, Baolan MD; Li, Lin MD; Xu, Meiyu MD; Wang, Xudong MD, PhD; Wang, Feng PhD; Ni, Hongbing MD

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: April 2016 - Volume 38 - Issue 3 - p 167–172
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000000549
Original Article

In this study, we investigated the mRNA expression and protein levels of B-cell activating factor (BAFF)/a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) and their receptors in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cell lines and pediatric patients with ALL using real-time polymerase chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and Western blotting. The location and level of the BAFF/APRIL proteins in ALL cell lines were also detected by immunofluorescence cytochemistry and flow cytometry. Correlations between plasma protein levels of BAFF/APRIL and primary clinical parameters were analyzed. We found that BAFF/APRIL was highly expressed in pediatric ALL patients and ALL cell lines. The BAFF/APRIL proteins were located on the cell membrane, and the proportion of positive cells and mean fluorescence intensity were significantly higher than in the healthy control group (P<0.05). The mRNA expression and protein levels of BAFF/APRIL and their receptors in untreated ALL children were significantly higher than in healthy controls (P<0.05) as well as were significantly reduced in the remission group (P<0.05). The plasma protein levels of BAFF/APRIL were positively correlated with the white blood cell count, lactate dehydrogenase, and serum ferritin. Abnormal levels of BAFF/APRIL in pediatric ALL suggest that BAFF/APRIL are associated with the development and progression of ALL in children and may provide information for the development of BAFF-based and APRIL-based targeted therapies.

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*Department of Pediatrics

Laboratory Medicine Center, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University

Department of Laboratory, Tongzhou Sixth People’s Hospital, Nantong, Jiangsu, P.R. China

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B.S. and L.L. are co-first authors.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Hongbing Ni, MD, Department of Laboratory, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, 20 Xisi Road, Nantong, Jiangsu 226001, P.R. China (e-mail:

Received March 27, 2015

Accepted January 23, 2016

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