Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 1997; 21(1):55-61.

Cell Proliferation Detected by DNA Polymerase Α in Acute Leukemias

Atsushi Wakita MD1,2, Masakazu Nitta M.D1, Yasuharu Mitomo MD1, Masaaki Takahashi2, Masao Tanaka M.D2, Tsuguhiro Kaneda PhD2

1Second Department of Internal Medicine, Nagoya City University Medical School, Nagoya, Japan; 2Clinical Research Institute, Nagoya National Hospital, Nagoya, Japan

Address all correspondence and reprint requests to: Atsushi Wakita, MD, Second Department of Internal Medicine, Nagoya City University Medical School, 1 Kawasumi, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho- ku, Nagoya, Aichi 467, Japan.

ABSTRACT: Fifty-nine patients with acute leukemia were studied by flow cytometry using monoclonal antibody against DNA polymerase alpha Since fresh and frozen cells showed identical flow cytometric histograms, 86 cryopreserved samples (39 from peripheral blood and 47 from bone marrow) were used in this study. The DNA polymerase alpha-positive population ranged from 16.3 to 84.7% in peripheral blood, and from 6.5 to 92.1% in bone marrow. A positive correlation (r = 0.80;p < 0.01) was found between DNA polymerase alpha-positive populations in peripheral blood and bone marrow from the same patient. This suggests that the DNA polymerase alpha-positive population in the bone marrow can be estimated from that in peripheral blood. A negative correlation was observed between the positive population in bone marrow samples and the time to reach a nadir (r = -0.58; p < 0.01), while a positive correlation was found between the tumor cell count in bone marrow and the DNA polymerase alpha-positive population (r = 0.64; p < 0.01) in patients who responded to chemotherapy.

KEY WORDS: flow cytometry, DNA polymerase alpha, cellular proliferation.