Abstract Title:

Rapamycin and curcumin induce apoptosis in primary resting B chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells.

Abstract Source:

Leuk Lymphoma. 2009 Apr;50(4):625-32. PMID: 19373661

Abstract Author(s):

Rami Hayun, Eitan Okun, Alain Berrebi, Lev Shvidel, Lucette Bassous, Benjamin Sredni, Uri Nir

Article Affiliation:

The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Safdie Institute for AIDS and Immunology Research, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel.


B chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) cells exist in patients as slowly accumulating resting as well as proliferating B cells. In this study, we examined whether Rapamycin and Curcumin, two naturally occurring compounds shown to have apoptotic effects, could selectively induce apoptosis in resting B-CLL cells. Mononuclear cells isolated from patients with B-CLL were treated with these agents and analysed by AnnexinV/propidium iodide binding, caspase activity, and changes in bcl-2/Bax ratio. Rapamycin and curcumin significantly induced apoptosis in resting B-CLL cells obtained from patients with CLL. Furthermore, rapamycin and curcumin increased caspase 9, 3 and 7 activity, decreased anti-apoptotic bcl-2 levels, and increased the pro-apoptotic protein Bax. These data suggest rapamycin and curcumin may be an effective treatment for B-CLL and are of high clinical significance considering the growing population of patients and lack of efficient treatment for this malignant disease.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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