Induction of Apoptosis in Cancer Cells of pre-B ALL Patients after Exposure to Platelets, Platelet-Derived Microparticles and Soluble CD40 Ligand

Document Type : Original Article


1 Blood Transfusion Research Center, High Institute for Research and Education in Transfusion Medicine, Tehran, Iran

2 Mahak Pediatric Cancer Research and Hospital Center, Tehran, Iran


The in vitro treatment of tumor cells with platelet (Plt) causes inhibition of tumor cell growth, although mechanism of this effect is not clear yet. Induction of apoptosis has been proposed as a mechanism of Plt effects on tumor cells. The purpose of this study was to clarify the role of Plts and Plt-derived components in the induction of apoptosis in the blood mononuclear cells of patients with leukemia.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from whole blood of five patients with childhood B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (pre-B ALL) and encountered with Plts, Plt-derived microparticles (Plt-MPs) as well as purified soluble CD40L (sCD40L). After 48 hours of co-culture, the anti-cancer activity of the aforementioned factors was surveyed using examination of apoptosis markers of the cells including active caspase-3 and CD95 using ELISA and flow cytometer techniques, respectively. Additionally, staining of the cells with 7-Aminoactinomycin D (7-AAD) was evaluated by flow cytometer technique. Trypan blue exclusion test and WST-1 method were also used to compare the death/survival status of the cells.
Levels of CD95 and caspase-3 were significantly increased in the all treated groups (P < 0.05). On the other hand, trypan blue, 7-AAD and WST-1 methods showed significantly lower number of the live cells in the treated groups (P < 0.05).
This study can show the ability of Plts, Plt-MPs and sCD40L for the induction of apoptosis in PBMCs of pre-B-ALL patients. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the different effects of platelets on cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.