Journal of leukocyte biology

Liver X receptors interfere with cytokine-induced proliferation and cell survival in normal and leukemic lymphocytes.

PMID 19671841


Liver X receptors (LXRs) are nuclear receptors regulating lipid and cholesterol metabolism. Recent data indicate an additional role of LXR in immunity by controlling dendritic cell and T-cell function and in breast and prostate cancer cells. Here, we show that LXR activation interferes with IL-2 and IL-7-induced proliferation and cell cycle progression of human T-cell blasts mainly through inhibited phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein and decreased expression of the cell cycle protein cyclin B. Comparable results were obtained with IL-2-dependent chronic lymphoblastic leukemia (CLL) T cells. Furthermore, we show for B-CLL cells that LXR are functionally active and inhibit expression of survival genes bcl-2 and MMP-9, and significantly reduce cell viability, suggesting an interference of LXR with cytokine-dependent CLL cell survival. In conclusion, our data reveal LXR as a potent modulator of cytokine-dependent proliferation and survival of normal and malignant T and B lymphocytes. This novel LXR action could find clinical application in immunosuppressive and antileukemic therapies.