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HiÁsnŲmez G, Erdemli E, Tekelioglu M, Tuncer AM, Ozbek N, Cetin M, Cotter TG;
Leukemia & Lymphoma
Morphologic evidence of apoptosis in childhood acute myeloblastic leukemia treated with high-dose methylprednisolone.
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We have previously demonstrated that various subtypes of AML children respond to high-dose methylprednisolone (HDMP; 20-30 mg/kg/day) which could induce in vivo differentiation of myeloid leukemic cells to mature granulocytes. In this study we have evaluated whether apoptosis occurs in AML cells of patients treated by HDMP using morphological criteria. For light and electron microscopic examination bone marrow aspirates were obtained four days and two weeks after methylprednisolone (30 mg/kg/day) treatment from two children with newly diagnosed AML (AML-M3 and AML-M4). In both patients maturation of leukemic cells has previously been reported four days (in patient with AML-M3) and two weeks (in patient with AML-M4) after HDMP treatment. Electron microscopy revealed the characteristic ultrastructural changes of various stages of apoptosis four days after HDMP treatment in a case with AML-M3. Morphologic evidence of apoptosis induced by HDMP were also detected on Wright-stained and toluidine blue stained semithin sections of BM preparations in a patient with AML-M4 and AML-M3 respectively. These findings suggest that HDMP which could induce in vivo terminal differentiation in myeloid leukemic cells is also able to induce apoptosis in patients with AML. The possibility of HDMP-induced apoptosis should be evaluated in a larger series of patients with AML and other types of malignant tumors.

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