Phenotypic and functional analysis of Fas (CD95) expression in primary central nervous system lymphoma of patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

Robert A. Baiocchi, Vijay P. Khatri, Matthew J. Lindemann, Mary E. Ross, Giuliana Papoff, Anthony J. Caprio, Thomas V. Caprio, Robert Fenstermaker, Giovina Ruberti, Zale P. Bernstein, Michael A. Caligiuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The poor prognosis associated with patients afflicted with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and primary central nervous system lymphoma (AIDS- PCNSL) is due in part to the intrinsic resistance of this Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated tumor to conventional antineoplastic therapy. Fas (CD95) is a transmembrane protein receptor that transmits an intracellular signal leading to rapid programmed cell death following ligation with its natural ligand or anti-Fas antibodies. Fas expression and function were assessed in AIDS-PCNSL biopsy samples and in EBV+ human B-cell tumors that spontaneously developed in severe combined immune deficient (SCID) mice engrafted with human lymphocytes (hu-PBL-SCID mice). All tumors samples showed high-density surface expression of Fas by flow cytometry or immunohistochemical staining. Cells from two AIDS-PCNSL biopsy samples that did not express pan B-cell markers did not express Fas antigen. All tumors examined were susceptible to Fas-mediated apoptosis, as measured by standard assays for endonucleolytic cleavage of DNA. The response to Fas-mediated apoptosis was dependent on log- fold increases in the concentration of immobilized anti-Fas antibody, but could also be induced with a mobilized anti-Fas antibody. No evidence for intrinsic resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis (ie, secreted or truncated forms of Fas) could be shown. Radiation-induced apoptosis of neoplastic EBV+ B cells was enhanced by activation of Fas, and prolonged exposure to interleukin-2 increased both Fas expression and Fas-induced apoptosis. As the normal brain parenchyma appears to have either low-density or absent expression of Fas, and antineoplastic therapy can be selectively delivered to the CNS with little systemic toxicity, local delivery of Fas-activating molecules could prove to be a useful component in the multimodal treatment of AIDS-PCNSL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1737-1746
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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