Synergistic action of calcium ionophore A23187 and phorbol ester TPA on B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells

H. G. Drexler, M. K. Brenner, E. Coustan-Smith, R. G. Wickremasinghe, A. V. Hoffbrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 16 patients with B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL, n = 13), B-prolymphocytic leukemia (B-PLL, n = 2) or hairy cell leukemia (n = 1) were incubated in the presence of the phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) and the calcium ionophore A23187. A synergy between these inducers was found with respect to morphological changes and B cell proliferation and differentiation. A23187 used alone did not activate the cells. B-CLL cells treated with the double stimulus acquired a plasmacytoid morphology, showed significantly higher incorporation of 3H-thymidine and 3H-uridine, and produced significantly higher amounts of monoclonal immunoglobulin compared with the same cells exposed to either of the inducers alone. These results indicate that phorbol ester and calcium ionophore act synergistically on B-CLL cells to induce proliferation and differentiation. B-PLL cells responded more vigorously to the signals provided by TPA and A23187. Previous studies showed that TPA and A23187 can mimic the two physiological second messengers diacylglycerol and inositol trisphosphate in the transduction of signals leading to cell activation, proliferation, and differentiation in normal B cells. The present findings suggest that the capacity of B-CLL and B-PLL cells to differentiate in response to signals of the second messenger pathway is intact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1536-1542
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Synergistic action of calcium ionophore A23187 and phorbol ester TPA on B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this