Production of B cell growth factor (BCGF) from B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) cells was demonstrated. Freshly isolated monoclonal B-CLL cells expressed surface mu, delta, B1, and Leu 1, but not Ba (an antigen expressed only on activated B cells). Upon stimulation with anti-IgM, they secreted BCGF, which could act on anti-IgM-stimulated autologous leukemic cells as well as anti-IgM-stimulated normal B cells. Cell lines established from these leukemic cells also constitutively secreted BCGF. The BCGF from B-CLL cells or established cell lines induced neither proliferation nor enhanced HLA-DR expression in resting B cells. These results show the presence of B cell-derived BCGF, which is distinct from BSF-1 and effective only on activated B cells. They also suggest that an autocrine mechanism may operate in the growth of B-CLL cells.
N Kawamura, A Muraguchi, A Hori, Y Horii, S Mutsuura, R R Hardy, H Kikutani, T Kishimoto