Cellular and plasma nitrite levels in myeloid leukemia: a pathogenetic decrease

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Nitric oxide (NO) has a contributory role in hemopoietic cell growth and differentiation. The effects of NO on leukemic cell growth have been predominantly studied in in vitro settings. This study was done to assess the alterations in nitrite level in myeloid leukemias. Thirty-six newly diagnosed cases of myeloid leukemia (16 AML and 20 CML) were enrolled in the study. Neutrophil precursors from the marrow aspirate and peripheral blood were separated into cell bands using the Percoll density gradient method of Borregard and Cowland. The blood plasma and marrow fluid was also collected. Nitrite (stable non-volatile end product of NO) was estimated in the cell bands, blood plasma and marrow fluid using Griess reagent. The mean nitrite level in all cell bands from peripheral blood, bone marrow, blood plasma, and marrow fluid of cases was significantly lower as compared to corresponding value in the controls. No significant difference between AML and CML was seen. On follow-up, analysis of 13 CML patients higher nitrite levels were seen (p>0.05). The significant decrease in nitrite levels in myeloid leukemia suggests a decrease in nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity. Further work may unfold molecular targets for therapeutic role of NO modulators.

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