Key words: Chemomodulation – Multidrug resistance – Lymphatic leukemia
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. Reduced drug accumulation may be one reason for intrinsic drug resistance in chronic lymphatic leukemia of the B-cell type (B-CLL). Immunophenotyped leukemic human B-cells from 38 cases of B-CLL were characterized for P-glycoprotein (PGP) content. In all, 30 cases of B-CLL were additionally analyzed for further parameters: accumulation of daunorubicin (DNR, n = 20) and rhodamine 123 (Rh123, n = 30) in both the presence and the absence of verapamil (VRP). Also, 16 cases of B-CLL were analyzed for vincristine (VCR) accumulation with or without VRP. Concerning the relative expression of PGP, these 16 cases of B-CLL were representative for the whole group of 30 cases. Spontaneous accumulation of Rh123 and VCR varied over a wide range: accumulation of Rh123, by a factor of 11.8; accumulation of VCR, by a factor of 9.7; and accumulation of DNR, by a factor of 3.6. VRP modulated the accumulation of RH123 in 16/30 cases (53%), that of VCR in 69% of cases, and that of DNR in 11% of cases. The maximal VRP-mediated increases in accumulation amounted to factors of 1.3 for DNR, 2.3 for Rh123, and 7.8 for VCR. Spontaneous drug accumulation did not correlate with the extent of chemomodulation. The amount of PGP in B-CLL cells (all cases studied were PGP-positive) did not correlate with drug accumulation or with the extent of VRP-mediated chemomodulation. Thus, high expression of PGP is only partially responsible for defective drug accumulation in B-CLL. Only the degree of chemomodulation by VRP is predictive for the extent of the PGP-related functional drug accumulation defect. Thus, in B-CLL, PGP-independent drug accumulation defects seem to be as important as those mediated by PGP. The extent of this drug accumulation defect varies for the different drugs in the following order VCR〉Rh123〉DNR. The relevance of PGP-mediated and -independent drug accumulation defects in vivo may depend to a large extent on the drug being used and on the individual cell type. Both types of defect in drug accumulation are of high importance when regimens include VCR a drug commonly used in second-line chemotherapy of B-CLL. Both defects in drug accumulation may be responsible for intrinsic VCR resistance in B-CLL.
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