It was hypothesized that contact between chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) B-cells and marrow stromal cells impact both cell types. To test this hypothesis, we utilized a long-term primary culture system from bone biopsies that reliably generates a mesenchymal stem cell (MSC). Co-culture of MSC with CLL B-cells protected the latter from both spontaneous apoptosis and drug-induced apoptosis. The CD38 expression in previously CD38 positive CLL B-cells was up-regulated with MSC co-culture. Upregulation of CD71, CD25, CD69 and CD70 in CLL B-cells was found in the co-culture. CD71 upregulation was more significantly associated with high-risk CLL, implicating CD71 regulation in the microenvironment predicting disease progression. In MSC, rapid ERK and AKT phosphorylation (within 30 min) were detected when CLL B-cells and MSC were separated by transwell; indicating that activation of MSC was mediated by soluble factors. These findings support a bi-directional activation between bone marrow stromal cells and CLL B-cells.
- Cell signalling
- Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
- Mesenchymal cells
- Stromal cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas