Antibodies to CD44 enhance adhesion of normal CD34+ cells and acute myeloblastic but not lymphoblastic leukaemia cells to bone marrow stroma

Linda J. Bendall, Jason Kirkness, Amy Hutchinson, Alessandra Bianchi, Vicki Makrynikola, Kenneth F. Bradstock, David J. Gottlieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of CD44 in the adhesion of haemopoietic cells to bone marrow stromal layers has not been clearly defined in humans, although its importance in the murine system has been well documented. We have demonstrated that the CD44 antibody, NIH44-1, enhances the adhesion of haemopoietic cells to bone marrow stroma. Normal human CD34+ haemopoietic progenitors and blasts from patients with acute myeloblastic, but not lymphoblastic, leukaemia responded to NIH44-1. All CD44 antibodies tested which bound the same epitope as NIH44-1 also augmented haemopoietic cell adhesion to bone marrow adherent layers; however, antibodies which bound to other CD44 epitopes showed mixed responses. Augmented adhesion was independent of cell metabolism, suggesting that antibody binding resulted in direct activation of the CD44 molecule. However, hyaluronic acid was not the ligand for induced adhesion, nor could we show a role for other CD44 ligands including fibronectin, laminin, collagen or chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan. Similarly, none of the 22 CD44 antibodies tested inhibited the stimulatory effect of the NIH44-1. Expression of CD44 was not sufficient to determine NIH44-1 responsiveness since cell lines and leukaemic cells which failed to respond to NIH44-1 expressed high levels of CD44. Neither CD44 isoforms nor glycosylation patterns could be identified as predictive of response. CD44 antibodies enhanced binding of normal and leukaemic haemopoietic progenitors to bone marrow fibroblasts via an unidentified stromal ligand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)828-837
Number of pages10
JournalBritish journal of haematology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997


  • Adhesion
  • Bone marrow stroma
  • CD44
  • Haemopoiesis
  • Leukaemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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