Abstract 1691

Poster Board I-717

Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is a B-cell malignancy that is characterized by the production of a monoclonal IgM protein and a lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate in the bone marrow. The aberrant production of the monoclonal IgM can result in serum hyperviscosity that can cause significant morbidity in patients with this disease. In previous work, we have shown that IL-6 significantly upregulates IgM secretion by WM cells and that IL-6 secretion is regulated by CCL5 (Rantes). We have also shown that IL-6 mediated IgM secretion in WM requires phosphorylation of Stat1 and Stat3. Because IL-6 induced signaling involves the Jak/Stat pathway, we tested whether the use of a Jak/Stat inhibitor, TG101348, would result in down regulation of CCL5, IL-6 and IgM production and inhibit cell proliferation and viability in WM.

First, we determined whether TG101348 could inhibit the production of CCL5 because other Jak inhibitors have been shown to inhibit cytokine production. Using the BCWM.1 cell line as well CD19+ malignant cells from bone marrow specimens from WM patients, we measured CCL5 by ELISA in the culture supernatant 24 hours after treatment with increasing concentrations of the inhibitor. We found that CCL5 secretion was decreased by 50% at a concentration of TG101348 of 250nM and was completely inhibited at 2μM. Next, we measured IL-6 production after treatment with TG101348. We had previously shown that stromal cells are the primary source of IL-6 and therefore used the stromal cell line HS-5 to measure IL-6 by ELISA after treatment with the inhibitor. Our previous work had also shown that IL-6 secretion was mediated by GLI (a member of the Hedgehog pathway) rather than the Jak/Stat pathway. Interestingly, we found that IL-6 secretion was inhibited in a dose dependent fashion but required higher doses for complete suppression (8μM). We then measured IgM production by malignant B-cells 24 hours after treatment with TG101348. Our previous work had shown that IL-6 mediated IgM secretion was dependent on the Jak/Stat pathway. We found that IgM production was inhibited by 50% at 500nM and completely suppressed at 2μM. Finally, we measured the effect of TG101348 on cell proliferation and survival. Using the BCWM.1 cell line, we found that cell proliferation as determined by tritiated thymidine uptake was inhibited in a dose dependent fashion with 50% inhibition at 1μM. Inhibition of cell viability as measured by Annexin V/propidium iodide staining, however, required higher concentrations and cell viability was inhibited with an IC50 of 8μM.

These data confirm the role of Jak/Stat signaling in the CCL5-IL-6-IgM axis in WM. We found that TG101348 generally suppressed the signaling and growth of WM cells but that pathways that were known to be Jak/Stat dependent required significantly lower doses to be completely inhibited. These data provide a strong rationale for the use of inhibitors of this pathway, such as TG101348, in the treatment of patients with WM.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.