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.
Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.
*Department of Pediatrics
‡Laboratory Medicine Center, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University
†Department of Laboratory, Tongzhou Sixth People’s Hospital, Nantong, Jiangsu, P.R. China
Supplemental Digital Content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Website, www.jpho-online.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Received March 27, 2015
Accepted January 23, 2016